My weekly round up 24/11/13 – 30/11/13

This week has been much better than last week for me as I started the week by going Christmas shopping with my hubby which was lots of fun and left me in such a festive mood. I do love shopping and I know that many people get stressed trying to shop at Christmas with the crowds of people and the pressure to buy the right gift, but for me, it is always fun and I also enjoyed the fact that I was doing it with my hubby as we haven’t spent much time together lately so it was just what I needed to give me that lift to start the week on a positive note.
On Wednesday evening we were invited to LJ’s high school for a presentation evening as LJ had won an award for excellent effort and behaviour in ICT. I was very proud as she has won an award every single year that she has been at the school and most children do not even win one. She had to go up on stage to accept the award which was a certificate and a £10 book shop voucher. The head teacher shook her hand and photographs were taken. It is nice to know that she is so well respected at school. She has always been such a lover of high school and I think she is really sad that she is now in her last school year.
I am very excited that we will be in December tomorrow and I always put up the Christmas decorations on the first Sunday of December which is the 1st this year so I have spent the rest of the week in my attic sorting through all the decorations so that I am ready to get them all up tomorrow. I am such a kid when it comes to Christmas decorations so add me to an extremely hyper five year old and Sunday should be very interesting!

Listography – Guilty Pleasures.

This weeks listography is being hosted by Older single mum and the topic is guilty pleasures. Here is my list of guilty pleasures, which I must admit, I am rather embarrassed about!
1) Vampires! I am a sucker for a bad vampire trying to be good and this obsession started long ago with Buffy the Vampire Slayer in my teens when I would lust after the character Angel. As I have grown older I am still swooning over bad boy vamps like Spike from Buffy and Damon from The Vampire Diaries. There is just something very exciting about a dark and dangerous hunk trying to be good plus the fact that they always look oh so yummy!
2) Agatha Christie books. I absolutely love them and have quite a collection. I also really enjoy watching them on TV too.
3) Watching the Disney channel. When my two older girls started watching the Disney channel I very soon became subjected to shows such as Hannah Montanna and Wizards of Waverly Place. Now that they are older, they do not really watch the Disney channel anymore, but I still do!!

4) Dancing in my kitchen. When no one is home I crank up the music, normally tunes from the late 90’s and as I cook and clean I sing and dance around the kitchen! Sometimes I even use a wooden spoon for my microphone!

5) Christmas! Now at this time of year, it is perfectly acceptable to be talking about a love of Christmas but for me, it is a bit of an obsession and I am constantly thinking about it. I like nothing more than watching a Christmas film in April or listening to my favourite Christmas cd in July. I just have to make sure that no one is home or else I would drive my hubby insane! He has actually banned me from playing my Christmas cd unless it is December as he is not as keen on Christmas as I am!

So there you have it, my list of guilty pleasures – what are yours?

My weekly round up 18/11/13 – 23/11/13

This week has been exciting in some respects due to me re-starting this blog, it is something that I love to do and I can see that I am getting page views so I know that someone out there must be reading my ramblings! If you like my blog I would love to hear from you so please do not be shy!
On the flip side, I have had quite a hard week when it comes to family life as my little one FJ has been extremely hard work and I am trying so hard to keep calm and work out why she is acting out so much. I know that at school she has been having quite a tough time as she started year one in September and the school have not been able to keep a teacher for her class so every day a different supply teacher is there and I think that has to be hard on any aged child but even worse for a five year old that is only now learning what school is all about. I have been assured that the problem has finally been sorted and the teacher that will be there on Monday morning will be the teacher that they will have for the rest of the school year so fingers crossed. I do not know if once the problems at school are settled if FJ’s behaviour will settle too, I can only hope!
I also think that the weather has not helped my mood this week either as it has been so dull and raining for most of the week that it does get me down. It’s a little strange as I am normally much more upbeat at this time of year with Christmas just around the corner but maybe as I am not as prepared this year as I would normally be the stress is getting me down. Never mind, hopefully, my mood will have improved this coming week as I have a lot of plans to get into motion and I like to be busy.

I could not live without my fridge freezer!

When asked the question which household appliance could I not live without my first thought, like most, was none of them! But on reflection I suppose I could live without most modern items that we have now as our great grandparents once did. While I greatly admire what my nana went through during the war, keeping house with none of today’s luxuries, I am sure that if she could of chosen to use the items that we use today she would of done. She was a very wise hard working woman and she was not at all stupid!
Anyway, after giving this a lot of thought I have decided that the household appliance that I could not in a million years ever live without is my fridge freezer. The fridge freezer is often forgotten with many people thinking how they could not do without their dish washer or their washing machine, but the fridge freezer is in fact, in my opinion, the most important household appliance in the world.
Just think what life would be like if we had nowhere to store our food! Keeping our food in the fridge or freezer stores our food in a healthy safe and convenient way. We can buy our food for the week from the supermarket saving us money because we have that safe place to keep our food fresh.
Being a wife and a mother to three growing girls, I know how important it is to keep the family fed. We need the convenience of the fridge freezer to ensure that we are able to provide three nutritious interesting meals a day. At the evening meal not only do we enjoy our food, we also talk about our days, laughing and debating, sharing our successes and our problems.
If we had no fridge freezer we would be faced with the constant threat of our food becoming contaminated and our lovely children falling ill with all sorts of food poisonings and other nasty illnesses.
The fridge freezer is like an important friend to us mums looking after the food that we give to our families and for that reason I know for a fact that I could never live without my fridge freezer!

This blog post is my  entry into the Tots100/Part Select ’Love Your Appliance’ competition

One for the freezer

Of course in an ideal world I would cook everything from scratch but in the real world, I do not always have the time so I’m always on the look out for nice and easy dinners that I can keep in the freezer for when I’m short on time and in need of something simple.
Well, I have found something perfect for that purpose in the winter months. It is a chicken hotpot from Iceland and it only costs £3!! It is part of a range of family ready meals that they are doing and it comes in a 1.6kg pack so there is plenty there.
I really like it and I think that it is such a bargain at that price. You can cook it straight from frozen and it takes about an hour in the oven. It is basically carrots and chicken in sauce with sliced potatoes over the top. If I was going to be really picky I guess it could probably do with more chicken, but for the price of just £3, I am happy with what you get.
It is so easy and convenient and I just put on a pan of extra vegetables to go with it and it easily feeds us all. It tastes great and all my family like it so I am going to make sure that I always have one in my freezer!

Listography – 80’s and 90’s gameshows.

I have found a game where you are given a topic and you have to list your top five which I think sounds fun, so I have decided to join in. I hope that you will find these fun to read as well.
Todays listography is – top 5 80’s and 90’s game shows.
This is quite hard for me as I must admit that I have always been a fan of game shows and I do think that UK game shows were probably at there best during this era although the prizes were somewhat to be desired! Anyway, here is my top 5!
1) Funhouse.
This was my all time favourite show when I was growing up and I would always dream of being able to go on the show. The whole concept of the show blew my mind, I couldn’t believe that children would be allowed to do such things and get to win prizes as well! You have to remember that this was at a time when there was no such thing as the big soft play centres that we have today so I was mesmerised by the fun house and  I would spend hours playing make belief that I was actually a contestant on  the show, trying to recreate the fun house in my bedroom with pillows and blankets.
2) The crystal maze.
This was another great concept with the different zones that you could visit. There were four different zones which were the Aztec zone, the Industrial zone which later changed to the ocean zone, the Medieval zone and the Futuristic zone. It’s funny as back in the 90’s when I was watching the show, everything on set seemed so real and it really did amaze me. However, when I recently watched a repeat on sky it didn’t seem to be as well made as I had first thought. They made a board game of the show which at one point I did own and I must admit, the board game was actually quite good.
3) Knightmare.
This show was great and there had never been anything like it before which made it really stand out. It was one of those shows that would actually scare me at times but even though I was scared I could not stop watching it! It also really confused me as I had no knowledge of computers or anything technical, but I was of an age where I knew that it was a game and not real so I would spend a lot of time trying to figure out how it was done.
4) Catchphrase.
This is a show that most will have heard of as it has been a long running game show with a few different hosts over the years and it was even on TV earlier this year with Stephen Mullhern as the host and my children got to watch it and play along. My fondest memories of this show are the early years with Roy Walker as the host. Every Sunday evening we would sit in front of the television with our tea and watch catchphrase and this was the only time that we were aloud to eat in our living room which made it seem even more special and it was also something that we could all join in with, trying to guess before the contestants got it right.
5) Family fortunes.
Another long running game show that has been hosted by a few different people over the years. I first started watching this when Les Dennis was the host in the late 80’s and I still enjoy watching it today when hosted by Vernon Kay. It is such a simple game but still very entertaining and it really does make me laugh when you hear some of the answers that people give.  I like these types of shows as my daughters can sit and watch with me and play along as you do not need to be Einstein to participate.

I’m back!!

Hello everyone 🙂
I am back in the land of blogging and I intend to stay! I must apologise to my regular readers for disappearing and not explaining my absence. I feel very bad and I also realise that it was not a good start to a fairly new blog.
I fell ill with my depression and CFS (although the doctors are not sure which was the problem or if it was both as they present very similar symptoms!) so I was unable to continue with the blog as it took everything that I had to just get through the day and hold myself together. This also made me realise that I needed to be more prepared if I was serious about writing this blog and if I really wanted to build this into something that many people would enjoy reading. So once I started to feel better I started making plans so that if I was to fall ill again this blog would not be forgotten. If my readers would be willing to give me a second chance I would very much appreciate it and to any new readers that may well be reading this post as the first entry that they have ever seen, I promise that this blog will get better and is well worth coming back to as I will be posting on a regular basis from now on.
I like to try and find the positive in every situation so for me, although being ill was not very nice, I think that the new ideas and plans I have been able to make will make this a blog worth visiting and that will be a good thing. If I can help or inspire just one person out there then this blog is worth my time and I will be a very happy lady.
As always, I welcome any feedback from you all, good or bad I am happy to hear your opinions.

My weekly round up 21/07/13 – 27/07/13

The early part of this week was spent on preparing for the summer holidays. Now that we are in the summer holidays I thought that I would write a day by day account with a few photos to give you a clear idea of how we spend our summer holidays.
Day one – Wednesday 24th July.
Today we spent the morning cooking chocolate crispy cakes and chocolate pancakes. The crispy cakes are from a recipe that I have had for a good ten years now and the pancakes were a ready-made ‘Peppa pig’ mix that I had brought.
It was great fun and after our lunch, we enjoyed the pancakes with some chocolate ice cream and then we saved the crispy cakes for our dessert after our dinner that night. 
We spent the afternoon potato printing and using a foil art set that had been a present earlier in the year.
After our creative day of cooking and crafts, the children had some time to play in the garden and see their friends.
Day two – Thursday 25th July.
Today we spent the morning playing board games. We played the Disney princess magic wand game which is a firm favourite for FJ and our Tetris board game which is a favourite game of the older two girls.
After lunch, we took FJ to Wacky warehouse for a play as we have brought their summer saver offer which entitles unlimited play in July and August for just £10 which I think is fantastic value so needless to say, we will be visiting wacky every week!
Day three – Friday 26th July.
Today was an organising and helping day. I always plan in at least two of these days every summer holiday as I think that it doesn’t hurt for the children to spend a few days helping to organise things and have a good clear out. Today we went through all of the children’s clothes as that was long overdue and we also had a good clear out and tidy up in our coat and shoe cupboard under the stairs. The children were very good helping so after we had finished we went to visit my sister which is a nice treat for the children as we do not often get to visit her and then when we got home they had some garden play while I cooked the dinner.
Day four – Saturday 27th July.

Today we had a family old fashioned sports day which is a brilliant way to have some low-cost fun outside in the lovely weather we have been having. We split into two teams of two (one adult with one child) as my oldest was out with her friends and then we drew up a list of games such as the sack race and the egg and spoon race and then we completed in our teams to win a small prize which was a chocolate bar. After the sports day, we had a BBQ and it was a lovely day.


My weekly round up 14/7/13 – 20/7/13

My top 3 highlights of the week.

* Attending FJ’s first ever sports day.
* Winning another competition!
* Giving the girls their week one summer holiday booklet.

Attending FJ’s first ever sports day last Monday was a very special mummy moment and for once we actually had lovely weather. I suppose if anything, it was a bit too hot, but the school were very good about keeping the children hydrated and making sure that they all had sun hats and sun cream so it wasn’t too bad.
We arrived at the school at lunchtime as we were allowed to join the children in a picnic lunch which was lovely and FJ was so pleased to have her mum and dad at school with her.
After our picnic, the children all went and got changed and then the fun began. They did eight events in teams which were all given a colour and FJ was the green team. 

It was so lovely seeing all the excited children complete and at the end, every child received a medal and FJ was super proud of herself for ‘winning’ a medal and has not stopped talking about it ever since! It was a lovely day and I am really glad that I was able to go and enjoy the day with her.
On Thursday I received an e-mail telling me that I have won another competition which is very exciting! I must be lucky at the moment! I have won two tickets to ‘WAGs the musical’ in London and a goody bag worth £60. This was a lovely surprise and I have decided to take my sister with me as hubby is not really a theatre person and it will be nice to spend some time with my sister and have a girls day. The tickets are for Friday, August 23rd and we have decided to make a day of it, so I am really looking forward to going.

On Friday night, when the girls got home from school, I gave them their first summer holiday booklet of the year telling them all about the plans for the first week of the holidays. It was so lovely as they were all genuinely excited and FJ was dancing around the living room singing ‘thank you mummy’ over and over again. It really is moments like this that make the extra time planning etc. all worthwhile. I love my children so much and I want to do all that I can to make sure that they have a happy childhood and grow up into happy confident adults that are ready to take on the world.

In other news, LJ has been on work experience this week. She wants to be an English teacher when she leaves school but the school said that there were no work experience placements anywhere for working in a high school which I must admit angered me somewhat, as it is not as if she wanted to get a placement on a TV show or in out of space! Anyway, to cut a long story short, she has ended up being placed in a café with a shop attached to the side of it so she has been working in both the shop and the café this week. She didn’t want to go but I made her go as I believed that it would teach her some valuable life experience as often people do not want to go to work but they have to so that they can pay their bills and when she came home on her first day in tears, I must admit, I felt really bad. She had been through hell that day, working over 5 hours without a break, drink or food, spoken down to and made to do all the horrible jobs that no one else wanted to do. The next day, she begged me to let her stay home but I felt that she needed to give it another chance. I told her that if she gets no breaks again, she should ask for one and if they refused she could walk out and I would tell the school what was going on so that she did not get in trouble. I told her that if everyone gave up after just one bad day that no one would ever do anything or get anything done. She was really not happy with me and I was so worried all day that she was going to come home hating me having suffered for another day. It was one of those decisions on my part that I had really struggled with and I was very uncertain as to if I had done the right thing. She came home that night with a huge smile on her face, telling me that she had really enjoyed her day and that she was actually really glad that she had gone back. I can’t tell you how relieved I was! On Friday, her last day, she was actually sad to be leaving and she has even asked them if they would give her a summer job! It just goes to show that sometimes in life, we as parents have to make hard decisions that can make us look like the bad guy, but if we are doing it with love, things will work out in the end.

My weekly round up 7/713 – 13/7/13

I thought that each week I would write a post filling you in on what myself and my family have been up to for those that are interested.
The high lights of the week are; reports for LJ and CJ, our trip to the seaside and winning a competition.
I got LJ’s and CJ’s end of year reports this week and I was very proud. They are both doing amazing well at school and they are both in all the top sets so I am a very proud mum. FJ had her end of year report a few weeks ago as well and I was also super impressed and proud of her. FJ finds reading and writing quite hard as she has had a problem with her speech but she has such enthusiasm to learn and improve that she has come on leaps and bounds since starting school so I am really proud of her.
Friday we went to Felixstowe after school which I blogged about yesterday, so I won’t go into too much detail now, but it was a really lovely afternoon/evening and was enjoyed by all.
On Wednesday I received a letter telling me that I have won a competition that I entered to win an apple ipad so I am really pleased about that. I first started entering competitions a few years ago when I first got ill with ME as it is something that I can do without using much energy and concentration and I won a few little things but as I started to get better, I got busier and then stopped it all together. About five weeks ago I decided to start entering competitions again as I do enjoy doing it as a hobby as it can be fun to dream of what it would be like to win each prize and so far I have won a pair of ear-rings, a tube of face cream, a maple syrup cook book and now an apple ipad so not bad for only five weeks of effort! I can’t wait for it to arrive and I’ve been told that it should arrive sometime in the early part of next week so it will be very exciting when it arrives as I have been wanting an ipad for a while but we just didn’t have the finances to get one, so winning one is perfect!
In other news, I am a little bit panicked as I didn’t realise how close we are to the summer holidays so I have a lot of planning to get done. I always like to be well prepared for the summer holidays as there is nothing worse than a bored child as, in my experience, they always get up to mischief when they have nothing to do. That’s not to say that they will be constantly doing things with me as of course they do need some time to play with their friends and also some time to learn how to occupy themselves so I always plan in time for that and it is also nice as it gives me some time to catch up on housework (which always gets waylaid in the school holidays) and also some time to relax as well!