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