Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Out of the mouths of babes

Tuesday night - doing battle with my eldest over the dishwasher never a truer word said...

My daughter only has 3 main jobs that she has to do - Practise her cornet, do some reading, and unload/load the dishwasher.

At the end of the school year, all the kids get tired and ratty and to be honest dont want to do anything job-related, but as was with the reasoning on giving Aimee the dishwasher job, i think kids need to do the boring jobs so that they learn that life isnt always sweetness and light, and so the dishwasher still needs to be done otherwise we will be eating off paper plates !

So Cornet practise was done, then the complaining starts......

I dont want to........... its your job

But its boring .............. it may be boring but boring jobs still have to be done

continued on in this fashion for 35 min - would loved to say that I was cool, calm, and collected but alas not... my arguement was if you spent less time complaining and using that time to get the job done you would have more play time

Any way in the end job was done....hooray!! so off to bed she went, forgetting that she had to make her bed,

Aimee: 'There arent any sheets up here'

Me: ' go downstairs and see in the dryer - thats what I was doing today, the boring jobs so you have clean sheets'


I was laughing that much - all I could say was ' isnt that what doing the dishwasher is??'

Made me think though..... thats technically all I do all day...

School Run - Move kids from home to school
Washing - Move clothes from one machine to the other
Cleaning - Move dust from one area to the other
Cooking - Move food from one place to another

Even when I go to work...... I move paper from one place to another

so basically a stand off on ONE job summed up my day completely,

My name is Andrea and I am a SHUFFLER ..... ho hum .......

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Im still here !!

How long has it been? I cant appologise enough its one of those- things happen, and then time goes on and before you know it weeks, months have gone past, so I cant keep appologising but its onwards and upwards so Im sure that I have lost many of my regular followers but for those who have stuck with me - Im back - ! and with the start of the summer holidays and 6 week holiday with the kids just around the corner Im sure that we will have lots of adventures to keep you posted with - and in the meantime I'll try and keep you updated with what has happened since - (if I can remember !! LOL )

Good to be back x x

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Make the most of every day x

Time waits for no-one
See the second hand move swiftly
And the minutes speeding on
Then the hours passing quickly
All too soon the day has gone
Always moving sure and steady
Certain as the endless tide
Father time is not your master
Let him always be your guide
Think of those whose days go slowly
Those whose moments creep along
Think of all the lost and lonely
Ofer hope to make them strong
Watch the minute hand still moving
As the hours slip away
Use each precious moment wisely
Make the most of every day

Thursday, 8 April 2010

gone but not forgotten

I'm still here!

I havent forgotten about this blog but at the moment I am on the last few days left before my Walking Marathon, and rest assured I have not forgotten about you but shhh........ my loyalties have been with another blog ! ......... OK its my other one, the training one, but with life, kids, training, fundraising (dont look at the total on the blog thats not right!) I havent had the time to keep this one updated... so appologies for now but for the time being join me across the cyber space at and see how our team has been getting on in the run up (or should that be 'walk up' !) to the marathon.... then I PROMISE YOU I will be back got lots to keep you updated on , the good and unfortunately the bad :( see you on the other side !!

Remember !

Thursday, 18 March 2010

No turning back now !!

Im officially in !!!
My Race number came yesterday #10737 makes it seem all that bit closer now - which it is of course 1 month away - Ive kept up with my training as much as I can through my coughs/colds/splutterings as well as the families germs and dealing with life in general - even through hubby sending me out on 10 mile walks and ignoring my pleas to 'come and pick me up' and .......'If you LOVED me you'd pick me up' but NO I had to walk the whole way !!
I must admit I am feeling better and have lost just under 2 stone in the process which is always a good thing - just a few more million to go now but we'll get there.. so now Im on the home stretch now then just the actual Marathon to walk (its ok if you say it quick enough :))

T Shirt that our nkotb team will be wearing:
Feeling so good that I am already looking for the next challenge - and I'm looking to run the race for life - debating whether to do the 5k or the 10k ? my thinking is - if I can walk a marathon it seems daft walking for 5k - so I think at the moment I'm going towards - - If I can run it (which is my next personal challenge) then I will do the 5k if Im still only walking I'll do the 10k - Ive still got a bit until I need to make my mind up so I'll let you know....

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Paw Ridge Porridge

I was asked a few weeks ago to review a new product out on the market - Quaker Paw Ridge and to share my opinions with you. 2 of my kids love porridge and could eat it till it comes out of their ears.

We always have a difference in opinion I want them to have (or at least try) the plain oats which make into porridge - tastes exactly the same to me but with 'bits' in, but they both inevitably wan the all dancing, all singing all full of sugar and additives one with the brightest colours on and with the cute mascot, so when these arrived we were both happy.

Paw Ridge comes in individual sachets for ease of use and measuring and you add the milk and then ping in the microwave for 90 seconds - nothing new there BUT Paw Ridge is 'proper' oats milled finely so it has the texture of the instant cereal, no additives or sugar - other than whatever topping you add yourself (if any)

Whenever I have bought the instant cereal in the past I have always bought the loose box and not the sachets for two reasons:

1. With the sachets its not necessarily quicker by the time you put the sachet in, get the measuring jug out measure up to the line .......etc -
Solution: with Paw Ridge they have a measuring line on the sachet, so it really is empty in bowl and then measure milk in the empty sachet up to the mark, it is fiddly to start off with but in no time you will be an expert -no more searching for jugs first thing in the morning

2. Pound for Pound it does work out more expensive than the loose boxes -

Solution : Yes it is slightly more expensive but in our local Asda it is comparitive with the other leading brands, and the ease of use and knowing it is the pure oats is worth its weight in gold especially during the rush in our house on school days-

And Finally - MY KIDS LOVE IT !! which has got to be the best taste test ever ! if I can steer my kids away from the additive full version its a winner with me and they still like the taste and the look of the cereal its a win-win

Paw Ridge also have an interactive web site ( for the kids full of jokes and activities etc and also has a page for parents information - obviously more detail than I can give you I can only give my opinion and what my family thought of it and know nothing of the technical side of it !

In the easter issue of the ASDA magazine there is a voucher for 50p off so give it a try - yum yum x xx

Monday, 15 March 2010

St Patricks Day Recipe

St Patricks day on Wednesday and many an excuse to have a few (responsible !?) drinks and to have traditional Irish Stew (or Scouse as we call it in Liverpool) which I know its not for a few days but this yummy dish ALWAYS tastes better the day after - dont ask me why- but it does

My Recipe:

500g Lamb or Beef diced
2lb potatoes peeled and cut up some small some larger
4 large Carrots peeled and chopped
1 Large onion peeled and chopped
4 meat Stock cubes I use Oxo
2 pints water

Brown the meat off in a LARGE saucepan then literally throw all of the other ingredients in the pan, crumble the oxos onto the top and add water. Turn the gas down and leave to simmer for 2 hrs onwards. you really can leave it for as long as you need, stir occasionally to make sure it doesnt stick to the bottom, add more water if needed and thats it
Its hard to put the ingredients down on paper this is really one of those recipes that you are born knowing how to make it and the quantities just 'feel right' or you know by looking at it and is one that will be unique each time you use it and you will tweek to your own families taste, it willbe a winner every time - and dont forget to double the quantites to freeze

Serve with a chunk of crusty bread

oh ...............

and dont forget a pint of the black stuff !!!!

Friday, 12 March 2010

Personal Grocery Challenge

I have noticed on a few other blogs, and other websites that there are a fair bit of personal challenges going on - decluttering, debt repaying etc, one that I like the look of (and indirectly helping in our debt repaying) is the Grocery challenge - Now as a family of 5 plus a dog we normally spend about £50 per week and this includes normal food, packed lunches, cleaning, toiletries, and pet food which I dont think is too bad? but there is always room for improvement - and so for the rest of March I am going to try and reduce this gradually by £5-£10 and then to reduce this by £10 permanently from April onwards so that our grocery shopping will be £40 per week, I have been inspired by the book title Family feasts $75 per month (I assume this is per person as it is a family of 10(I think) )which by my calculations is roughly £48 and I know I cant spend out £48 per month for a family of 5 (as much as I would love to !!) so that is the challenge and to obviously not scrimp on the quality or quantity of the food, I'll let you know how we get on.........

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Where is everybody?

I follow a few blogs and if they don't post for a while I often wonder why - not in a nosey way but just out of interest is it because they have nothing to blog about?, are they ill ? or are they busy and havent had time?

Well in my defence .... again !! ....I have been busy (ish) over the past few weeks I have been preparing the garden and pots for planting the spring vegetables which always takes twice as long with little helpers !

So we have to date:

Seedlings: Early tomatoes, Cucumbers, Peppers, Sweet Peas (although technically I dont think they class as a vegetable !)

Planted: Potatoes, Carrots, Mangetout all waiting to come out of their snuggly seeds to burst out of the ground and hop onto our plates

Greenhouse is going up in a few days so will be able to repot the seedlings and sit back and wait patiently

So far if I do say so myself Im doing really well remembering to plant the seeds, in the right order, in the right month, and in the right spot.. making a really concious decision this year to maximise on the growing season, to save money and to store the produce well to last us a fair while, which is one side of the veg I need to do some more research on, we can eat it fresh but I need to find info on the canning, freezing etc ... hmm leave that one with me and Ill get back to you.

Mummy's Little Helper - hmmmmmm

Thursday, 25 February 2010


Our eldest is now 9 (nearly 10 as she keeps reminding us !) and is wanting to start venturing out on her own to the local shops we are luck where we are because the shop is about 5 minutes away with one road complete with green man crossing, but that doesnt stop me for panicking every time she goes out of the door, but my head says that I need to start giving her a bit of freedom.

So before she goes out we always make sure she gives us the rules to make sure she knows what to do, we also make sure that she has her mobile phone CHARGED !! and kept seperately from her bag, but most importantly we have entered ICE into her contact list along with my mobile number - I must admit that I only found out about this service a year or so ago ICE stands for In Case of Emergency and is the first port of call any emergency service will use for an emergency contact.

Now all I need to do is to appreciate that she is growing up into a wonderful independant young lady, but my heart always wins and shouts out "but shes my baby" :(

Monday, 8 February 2010

yummy mummy Monday


After doing really well yesterday on my walk we are now a man down !!!

Suspected broken little toe/ pulled tendons :(

Got up this morning getting kids ready for school, bowl of rice crispies for baby, walking through, tripped over chair leg, rice crispies up in the air, put other foot down, SLIPPED on Spilt milk and went flat on my back hence the toe, I wondered where I was going !!!

So after picking myself up, trying to keep my dignity with the kids laughing at me - I am now 2 toes down luckily it was my little one so I'm not completely out of action !

Ho Hum this exercise lark is a doddle its daily life that gets me every time !!

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Thought of the day

I know its Sunday and I dont normally post on a Sunday but had a bizarre thought today.

I was doing my long walk as part of my training for the moonlit marathon walk and did my route worn out, legs tired - getting funny looks off people then realising Im singing along out loud to my mp4 (not good at the best of times lol) then getting home, having a bath, changed and then.................... having to go back out AGAIN in the car along the SAME route to find out how far I had gone so I could update my record - how bizarre and I was wondering how many other people go through all this ....hmmmmm that thought has kept me entertained all day ! walk went well by the way !!

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

30 day challenge

This should have been posted yesterday - I appologise !!

As part of my yummy mummy with no tummy ongoing saga, my gym, curves have issued a 30 day challenge to all members wishing to take part, we pay £5 to enter and are weighed and measured on 1st Feb then work out like machines for 30 days !! then get weighed and measured and the one who has lost the most inches (not weight) wins all the money and a t-shirt, so double incentive, one to lose the weight as we have 2 family parties in March and as you all know I have entered the Moonlit marathon walk so if I do win then all the money will go towards my sponsorship funds, so you will have to excuse me, I can write about exercise till the cows come home, but that doesnt get the challenge won !!!!! hup hup hup 30 reps 4 sets etc ..............

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Sisters together

A young wife sat on a sofa on a hot humid day,drinking iced tea and visiting with her Mother.

As they talked about life, about marriage, about the responsibilities of life and the obligations of adulthood, the mother clinked the ice cubes in herglass thoughtfully and turned a clear, sober glance upon her daughter.

" Don't forget your Sisters,' she advised, swirlingthe tea leaves to the bottom of her glass. 'They'll be more important as you get older. No matter how much you love your husband, no matter how much you love the children you may have, you are still going to need Sisters.

Remember to go places with them now and then; do things with them.''Remember that 'Sisters' means ALL the women...your girlfriends, your daughters, and all your other women relatives too. 'You'll need other women. Women always do..

'What a funny piece of advice!' the young woman thought.

Haven't I just gotten married?

Haven't I just joined the couple-world? I'm now a married woman, for goodness sake! A grownup! Surely my husband and the family we may start will be all I need to make my life worthwhile!'

But she listened to her Mother. She kept contact with her Sisters and made more women friends each year. As the years tumbled by, one after another, she gradually came to understand that her Mom really knew what she was talking about.

As time and nature work their changes and their mysteries upon a woman, Sisters are the mainstays of her life.


Time passes.Life happens.Distance separates.Children grow up.Jobs come and go.Love waxes and wanes.

Men don't do what they're supposed to do.Hearts break.Parents die.Colleagues forget favors.Careers end.
Sisters are there, no matter how much time and how many miles are between you. A girl friend is never farther away than needing her can reach..When you have to walk that lonesome valley and youhave to walk it by yourself, the women in your lifewill be on the valley's rim, cheering you on,praying for you, pulling for you, intervening onyour behalf, and waiting with open arms at thevalley's end.Sometimes, they will even break the rules and walkbeside you...Or come in and carry you out.

Girlfriends, daughters, granddaughters, daughters-in-law, sisters, sisters-in-law, Mothers, Grandmothers, aunties, nieces, cousins, and extended family, all bless our life!

The world wouldn't be the same without women, and neither would I. When we began this adventure called womanhood, we had no idea of the incredible joys or sorrows that lay ahead.

Nor did we know how much we would need each other.

Every day, we need each other still.

:There are more than twenty angels in this world.Ten are peacefully sleeping on clouds. Nine areplaying. And one is reading this at this moment.

yummy mummy Monday

day late I know !
Yummy Mummy Monday update:

Well I did it - - I ventured back to the gym had to face the music after the Christmas indulgences.

I normally have a weigh and measure on the 9th (ish) of each month to measure, weight loss/inch loss and body fat loss and my last one was November missed December and before you know it weve moved onto January.

So bring it on getthe bad news over and done with and then move onwards and upwards and as it turns out............ I LOST 8LBS !!!!!! and 1/2 inch from somewhere and 0.5% body fat to be honest I dont remember much of what else they told me I was stunned that I had lost the weight - I dont honestly feel that I have lost the weight or feel that I deserve to lose the weight, I dont feel that I have put any weight on just all untoned through not going to the gym

I am so pleased to say the least though and am working hard to keep up the momentum and carry on in the right direction

Friday, 22 January 2010

Bubbling Boilers !!!!

I was asked via the British Mummy Blogger website to review the new Thomas the Tank engine series starting on Milkshake Channel 5 Monday 25th January 8.25am.

I had it all planned, I would get the kids off to school then when the post was delivered sit our resident Thomas Nut in front of the DVD to see his reaction and to watch it myself

- well all good plans and all that !!

I forgot it was being delivered next delivery so when the postie came at 8am that was it all notion of trying to get the school run done on time flew out the window.

DVD went on Owen plonked in front of the TV, sitting on the potty actually and we watched although we did actually watch it again properly after school run, with piccies thought it would be better taste than on the potty !

The series looks FANTASTIC !! we had a sneeky peek at the first 3 episodes.

From a Childs point of view, Owen LOVED it - all the same well loved engines with new characters being introduced. It was still the same classic Thomas storylines, where despite the 'confusion and delay' and japers that the engines come across everything always works, with a gentle moral ending, Thomas is still cheeky, Cranky is still .... Cranky, all this but with new and improved computer generated graphics, I must admit when I read that it was computer generated my heart sank a little I thought 'oh here we go theyve spoit another classic series - making it all new and modern' but no I was pleasantly proved wrong it does have a look of 'computer' obviously, and the main difference is that the mouths move rather than just expressions but I love the fact that although it has been updated it still has a feel of the old -

its hard to explain, but to me I loved the fact that you could watch the old Thomas which was an actual train set and then when you bought the toys you could continue the adventure, which I am pleased to say that is still the case.

I think Thomas was, is, and will always be one of those classic tv series, and like anything that has stood the test of time has evolved along with society, by updating it, it keeps the next generation interested but it really does have a feel of the original series and will appeal to kids of all ages, Owen is 3, Holly is 6 and Aimee is 9 and all of them watched it before school and totally enjoyed it, we will be an avid watcher when the full series starts on Monday

After that though it was a mad rush so they weren't late for school, try explaining that one to the teachers !!

Thursday, 21 January 2010

What to do ?? Im so confused !

I appologise in advance if any of the confusion that is whizzing round in my head is on here !

Let me explain......

My daughter is 10 (nearly !) and going into year 6 in September, in our school we have the option to choose to as well as the standard SATS papers, whether or not to enter them in for the 11+ - which is basically an entrance exam into the grammar schools - I know thats not exactly what it is but considering you cant get into them without it, so as far as i am concerned it is essentially an entrance exam -

Now there is a HUGE difference in the results tables between grammar schools and state schools and obviously I want the best opportunities I can for the kids.

So herein lies my problem/confusion - the SATS are taught in one way, and we have been told by many, many people that the kids DO NOT STAND A CHANCE of passing the 11+ as it is taught in a completely different way ( I call it 'old school') and they need to do extra tuition starting in year 5 to even consider entering her into the exam.

So what do I do? I dont want to confuse her if she is being taught in one way in school, and another at home, as well as different practice papers, - We did start her with a tutor after school to get her geared up for the 11+ who said that she may struggle because she is so far behind in her maths and english (for which she is in the TOP set for both in school) but in daughters defense the tutor said it was nothing to do with Daughter and it is the problem of all the local schools they are not up to the same standard as local private schools.

I also dont want her to have any additional pressure by which I mean when I was in school the 11+ was the norm - you either passed or failed - I dont want her to feel like she failed, At the moment we are putting the spin on it that if you pass it just means that you have more schools to choose from, none of them are any better or worse just more choice.

I could take the easy way out and not put her in for the exam as many parents that I am speaking to aren't even considering it, for which option either dont want to , dont undersand I dont know but I dont want to do the cop-out route and not even give her the opportunity.

Then of course I then have to additional problem of - If I do do the extra work with her, she does pass and does choose to go to a grammar school is she going to stuggle with the work when she gets there??? I am so confused -

After all that I need to have a cup of tea and have a rethink !

I'll let you know what we decide when We decide !

x x

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Walkabout Wednesday

Wednesday already ! where do the days go ??

so Walkabout Wednesday here we go, 3 blogs that I have found for you today.

1. a new one that I have recently started following, and I love the mummy/family blogs out there, me, as a stay at home mum, because I love the togetherness between the mums and the 'we're all in this together' attitude and if you are having a bad day you can always find another mummy blog to give you support or has been in a similar situation. love this one

2. this one I have literally just found this morning and it is great to find someone who is going through the struggle of getting out of debt, not someone who has been there done that and this is how it should be done but someone who is going through it as we speak, and does falter as we all do and learns as she is going through it.

3. I have to be biased on this one - this is my other blog, charting my weight loss and training with my friends as we have signed up to walk the Moonlit Marathon in Manchester in April so come over and take a look, I do touch on my diet on here but dont go into too much detail.

so, follow, follow, follow x x x x x

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

National Friendship week

A farmer had some puppies he needed to sell. He painted a sign advertising the 4 pups and set about nailing it to a post on the edge of his yard. As he was driving the last nail into the post, he felt a tug on his overalls.
He looked down into the eyes of little boy. "Mister," he said, "I want to buy one of your puppies."

"Well," said the farmer, as he rubbed the sweat off the back of his neck, "These puppies come from fine parents and cost a good deal of money."

The boy dropped his head for a moment. Then reaching deep into his pocket, he pulled out a handful of change and held it up to the farmer. "I've got thirty-nine cents. Is that enough to take a look?"

"Sure," said the farmer. And with that he let out a whistle. "Here, Dolly!" he called. Out from the doghouse and down the ramp ran Dolly followed by four little balls of fur. The little boy pressed his face against the chain link fence. His eyes danced with delight.

As the dogs made their way to the fence, the little boy noticed something else stirring inside the doghouse. Slowly another little ball appeared, this one noticeably smaller.

Down the ramp it slid. Then in a somewhat awkward manner, the little pup began hobbling toward the others, doing its best to catch up... "I want that one," the little boy said, pointing to the runt.

The farmer knelt down at the boy's side and said, "Son, you don't want that puppy. He will never be able to run and play with you like these other dogs would."

With that the little boy stepped back from the fence, reached down, and began rolling up one leg of his trousers. In doing so he revealed a steel brace running down both sides of his leg attaching itself to a specially made shoe.

Looking back up at the farmer, he said, "You see sir, I don't run too well myself, and he will need someone who understands." With tears in his eyes, the farmer reached down and picked up the little pup.

Holding it carefully he handed it to the little boy. "How much?" asked the little boy.

"No charge," answered the farmer,

"There's no charge for love."

The world is full of people who need someone who understands. It's National Friendship Week.

Monday, 18 January 2010

yummy mummy Monday

Monday again, and I have found that a couple of Blogs are joining in a 'The Yummy Mummy with no Tummy Challenge' and so I have started late last year and then was ill and then we had Christmas - no excuses I know - but it has all gone by the wayside and so January is here again and I have my Moonli Walking Marathon in April so I am back on the treadmill so to speak so here we go embarking on my own yummy mummy challenge and keep you posted and maybe in a few weeks I will be brave enough to post a picture of what I look like now - now as they say ONWARDS AND UPWARDS x x x x

Friday, 15 January 2010

Friday Food for a Fiver (or Less)

Food for a fiver this week, is a yummy post, mini Victoria Sandwich bites.

Kids love them, I love em, hubby loves em from 1-101 they are a sure fire winner.


4oz self raising flour 45 (smart price 1.5kg)

4oz butter/margerine 44 (Asda best for baking 250g)

4oz sugar 87 (silverspoon 500g)

2eggs 91 (Asda smart price 6 eggs)

Icing sugar to taste 1.05 (silver spoon 1kg)

Jam any you like 38 (smart price jam)

paper cases 49 (Asda own)

Total 4.59 - prices as of Asda website 15th Jan

You can put all of the ingredients in a blender and mix but I always like to do it the long way round.

pre-heat oven to gas mark 5 180C

Soften butter, mix in with sugar with wooden spoon until blended, whisk eggs together and add to butter mix bit by bit.

Fold in sifted flour bit by bit with a metal spoon, gently to keep as much air in as possible.

divide between paper cases, and put in oven for 15-20min

to check if cooked top will spring back if pressed

leave to cool

for butter cream, soften the rest of the block of butter/marg and add sifted icing sugar to taste (it will probably be about 6oz of icing sugar) add more or less depending on how sweet you want it. add a TINY bit of water just to lighten the mixture.

cut the top half of the cooled cakes off spread jam on 1 half and a spoonful of butter cream, put the top back on the cake and sprinkle with icing sugar.

dont forget the prices are for whole packs of ingredients assuming that you have to buy everything from scratch, but most of these items are store-cupboard staples which will bring the costs down, or you will have enough ingredients to make a MOUNTAIN of cakes !!!

Many many calories, but ideal as a treat or for kids parties !!

Wednesday, 13 January 2010



Just a quick one before I go - speaking of my little man - for some strange reason he is LOOPY at the moment, every night he has taken to stop eating his dinner and start singing at the top of his voice - all of the family around the table and he just bursts out with 'Some people think I'm Bonkers' (yes I know the words are wrong but thats all he knows!) day before it was 'Bad Boys' in Asda it was NKOTB 'Tonight' (although this may be my fault because I am a HUGE NK fan and play them all the time) so I'll keep you posted to what little ditty he comes out with over the next few days, Ive got a little performer on my hands - he's only 2 !!

Walkabout Wednesday

Back to it now - no posts yesterday Internet off - one of those things you dont know how much you miss it until its gone, not bad considering it is only a relatively new technology, which reminds me I heard on the radio yesterday that during a sermon the pastor asked everybody to put their mobiles,blackberrys etc up in the air during the service and pray for technology! I know I'm attached to my laptop but enough !!

Anyway onwards - back to Walkabout Wednesday, found two great blogs this time, one is I have been following the website for quite a while now but either the blog is new or I havent been reading the newsletter properly ( I know which one I would go for !!) and I know that some of the information is not relevant to us in the UK and you have all the conversion stuff to contend with, but I love it, I find it reassuring that if I find myself slipping back into old habits then to nip on here and it puts me back on track, they also have a great e-book to download on money saving recipes, and another offer at the moment of a budgeting spreadsheet which I am doing my best to get .

The other one that I have found is title says it all really! its written by a mum and quotes the funny conversations that goes on in her family and other tit-bits all very well written, some very cute pictures x

and so for today this is all I have because my little man has just woken up,

take care until next time x x

Friday, 8 January 2010

Friday Food for a Fiver (or Less)

I thought that I would share a recipe on a Friday with you, yes I know it has been done before for a £5 or less , but for a family of 5 that works out to £1 p/head and more often than not in our house when you have padded the recipe out it actually feeds us for the meal and enough to either freeze or for leftovers for the following day.

One Moan though to get it out the way, it annoys me so much (dont know about you ) but when you do get a great recipe and it promises to feed a family for £5 then,

1, It is for a family of 4
2, They are more often than not smaller portions which for a postman who is walking 7-8 miles a day in alsorts of weather needs more than sparrow portions

And 3. which for me is my biggest bug-bear

3, Yes it is £5 but that accounts for cost per amount of ingredient (ie 4oz of cheese etc) and doesnt take into account that you have to buy the WHOLE packet just to get the 1/2 oz that you need - which doesnt help one iota when you are trying to budget for family meals

So I promise you that any recipe that I use it is £5 to buy all the ingredients which means that if you have to buy a packet of onions for 89p for example and only use one the 89p is accounted for, which means that you have the rest of the packet for other meals throughout the week without any additional cost


Todays recipe is


1 onion 78 (Asda smartprice 2kg)
200g ham cubed 1.24 (Asda premuim lean ham 200g)
1 can tomatoes 35 (Asda smart price )
1 can baked beans 40 (Asda own - not smart price)
125g mushrooms 77 (Asda Smartprice 400g)
1 x 15ml spoon pickle 25 (Asda smartproce pickle - Jar)
1.5 x 5ml spoon cornfour 75 (Asda)

Total £4.54 (all prices as of asda website 8.1.10)

Saute onion and ham in a pan for 2-3min, add tomatoes,baked beans, mushrooms and pickle stir well and simmer for 15-20min

thicken with blended cornflour if needed

you even have enough left over for some lovely fresh crusty bread for the ultimate comfort food !

obviously this is my recipe, please use, and adapt to your own tastes, you will probably find that you tweek it to suit your own family and dont forget the list of ingredients are for whole packets of food so the if you like it the only think you will only need another tin of ham and you already have the stuff left over for another go so that would be another meal for £1.24 - the cost of another can of ham or another idea if you can afford it buy 2 tins at the same time and then make double the amount and freeze, its no extra work because its all in one pan !

Hope you enjoy x x

Today should be follow Friday !!

WOOOOOO !!!!!!!

Im in double figures I now have 10 - - yes 10 followers and am officially in double figures, so thank you to all my new friends
x x x

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Thrifty Thursday

This morning I was going to start from scratch on the Thrifty Thursday tips, but I got to this afternoon and we had an unexpected surprise.... we recieved free tickets to the panto for this afternoon- and I love the panto, so off we went, it was Owens first experience of panto season and he was up and clapping along - for those readers abroad that dont know what a panto is it is an English institution !! it is basically a fairy tale but with men dressed up as women, the hero, the heroine, the love lorne friend, and the villain. The whole audience participates, the banter between the actors and the audience- 'He's Behind yoooouuuuuu!', it is an experience and until you see one you cannot appreciate the fun. so that was a great thrifty day out.!

So for today Thrifty Thursday, as I said I was going to go right back to basics, and that is the rule that I think should be top priority is to look after the things that you have, by all means declutter and organise to your hearts content but if you take care of the things you have and maintain your household correctly then it will be cost efficient in the long run as you wont be replacing lost, broken items saving you pennies right from the start.. more tips next week x x

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Wonderful Wirral Winter Wonderland !!

Instead of walkabout Wednesday today I thought I would do a Walkabout Wirral.

Where I live, the Wirral is tiny a little tiny peninsular (meaning we are surrounded by water on 3 sides) nestled inbetween the Irish Sea and the hills of Wales on one side and the River Mersey and Liverpool on the other and to be honest the majority of the time because of our sheltered area we plod along weather wise, the rest of the country are either snowed in or are experiencing a heatwave, but this week that ALL changed - BRING ON THE SNOW !!!! the kids have a snow day in school today and tomorrow so are happy as larry to have an extra few days holiday, so for today thought I would do a short post and let the pictures do the talking - cos Im off to play in the snow again ............... x x

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Yes, I know it is technically Tuesday but in my defence the kids had a teacher training day yesterday and didnt go into school until today and basically......... I've lost the plot !!

so until my mind catches up it is still Monday !

With me the New Year brings a desire to get on top of things and to KEEP on top of them (therin lies the difference) we are still plodding along with the spending/saving ratio and because of this and also partially inspired by other blogs I have read January seems to be use whats there month - basically instead of nipping off to the supermarket at the drop of a hat - use up what you already have in the freezer/cupboards which may be a tact I bring in maybe a week per month (probably the last week) or even if it is just for the last couple of the days of the week to tide us over until the next big shopping trip.

So by using these tactics I have gone through the stocks and surprised myself and have managed to come up with 14 meals - which just goes to show the surplus that most of us have lurking about - it means that I may have to go out for vegetables to add but the basics are there.

I have:

Corned Beef Hash, Shepherd Pie, Spagetti Bolognase, Mince and potatoes,Omelette, Chicken and Chips, Roast Dinner, Home made meatballs. Lasagne, Cowmans pie, Scouse (Stew) Sausage Cassarole., Stir Fry and Fried rice

so that is me for menu plan Monday/Tuesday, I will take 5 now and try and convince myself that it is infact TUESDAY now ! lol x x

Until next time

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Where do the years go?

6 years ago I was holding a tiny pink bundle in my arms all 9lb 4oz and introducing her to her big sister, she was a week late due 27th Dec and I remember spending the last two weeks of December leading up to Christmas Day willing her to come out and the 3 days of Christmas willing her to stay in !! as it turned out she hung on there until all the festivities ended.

Iwent into Labour Saturday morning, Mark was at work, Aimee was downstairs with her Step-Brother and I was trying to keep my voice and face steady so she didnt think I was in pain and worry, Mark came home, whizzed me up to hospital, where he proceeded to knock all the shelves off trying to put the radio on - to relax me !!!??, couple of hours later and I remember Westlife's 'Mandy' playing on the radio as she came out.

Now fast fast forward to today and we celebrate her 6th birthday, in the normal way in our household, decorations all over the house, breakfast served on a silver platter, with flowers in a vase for the birthday girl, and toast cut into her initals - she has grown and continues to grow into a loving warm caring child, she is like a little mother hen with her younger brother and is always open for a cuddle, sneeking into our bed for an early morning snuggle, I am so proud to be her mother - I love you Holly, Happy Birthday Bam-Bam x x x

Saturday, 2 January 2010

philosophy of the year

While out and about today looking for final bits and pieces for Hollys birthday tomorrow - I can't believe she is 6 !! (more about that tomorrow) I came across a great book entitled - Downshift to the goodlife its basically a book about escaping the rat race and to move to the country or a small-holding, as much as I would love to move to the country - although we are not exactly inner city where we are - and I dont particulary want a small-holding, I do buy into the thinking of the book and certainly some of the thoughts and ideas raised in the book can easily achieved wherever we are in life, it has 52 ideas 1 per week, two ideas for the day one if you are really ready to up-sticks and another more readily attainable. it also has a defining idea - basically a thought of the day, the first one of the book is:

"Downshifting isn't just about getting away from what you don't want it is also about moving towards what you really want to do" - Nick Williams

To me that sums up my outlook in life, small changes, small steps gradually in the right direction, you may be blown off course but keep plodding away.

Last year we had a go at planting some vegetables from seeds with some success, mainly fails but here we are planning to do it all again - learn from our mistakes and hopefully (fingers crossed) have a bigger bounty to feed the family.

until tomorrow, love to you all x

Friday, 1 January 2010

Happy New Year !!

Happy new year to you all, January 1st all over again! I personally love the new year I have never been one of these people who frown on the new year unfolding infront of them, to me one of the things I love doing on January 1st is to take a walk somewhere outdoors preferably on my own but just so I can have 5 minutes peace I love to breath in the cold refreshing air and makes me realise that the whole year is spread out infront of us, it is a blank canvas to do our very best on full of promise, opportunites and hope.

So what is everyones resolutions?? or does anyone still make them?

I do still make them, but also think that it is an ongoing process, dont just give up when you fall at the first hurdle, so mine are:

1. To be a more considerate blogger - post more and to comment on blogs that I follow more and to support the blogging community.

2. Spend more time with the family - family outings, holidays, and just connect more day to day, hits me every so often you get so wrapped up in everyday life that you forget to stop and smell the roses

3. Reconnect with my more spiritual side, as with most things pre- children it is another aspect that I have left to dwindle I used to think about things more first rather than just jumping in - or is that just taking time for myself?

4. and the usual suspects !! continue to lose weight- I have signed up for a walking marathon in April so need to get back into training for that, carry on with the budgeting and to have a happy healthy year for my family, friends and fellow blogsters !!

May I take this opportunity to wish you all the best and a fruitful happy healthy year