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. www.funkymammy.blogspot.com 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. www.budgetsarethenewblack.com 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. www.letsfightthis.blogspot.com 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 www.livingonadime.com 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 www.amothersramblings.com 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