Monthly Archives: May 2014



‘Mum, have a chick (sticker). Shall I stick it in the car? Have you always wanted a chick in the car?
Me – ‘yes Amelia, I’ve spent all day hoping for a chick to stick in the car.’

‘Mum, I’m furious aren’t i.’
‘What does furious mean Amelia?
‘It means wanting to know things.’
‘I think you mean curious.’

‘Rosie has been fussing about all day.’

‘Why did the chicken cross the road?’
Me – ‘I don’t know, why?’
‘To get to the wine shop.’
Plus a million variations on this joke, but this one is my favourite 🙂

‘When I am older I want to be a Mummy.
I want to have my own little girl.’

And a couple of weeks ago Amelia got out the ingrediants to make cakes – she put flour, sugar and eggs into a bowl (unweighed) with no help. We just helped by adding butter, whisking and baking. They were (just about) edible – not the best cake I’ve ever had, but brilliant for a first attempt by a four year old.

And Amelia made me breakfast the other morning. She got a bowl, put my favourite cereal in it, and the milk. With only supervision from Craig.

And she’s made lots and lots of potions lately – water, grass, mud, plants – whatever she can find. Usually to kill the ants.

Love my girl 🙂


Meal planning Monday

This week Monday has come around so fast! Last week the meal planning went well – I do find that it focuses me on what I want to make. Here’s the plan for this week:

Monday (today) – we had a bank holiday BBQ with burgers, sausages and minted lamb. It was lovely but I have eaten too much!

Tomorrow – Craig cooks so it is upto him.

Wednesday – I’m tempted to do a midweek roast – chicken, stuffing and veg.

Thursday – chicken stew with leftovers.

Friday – creamy corgette and bacon pasta, from last week as it was yummy.

Saturday – chicken thighs, rice fusions rice, sweetcorn and peas.

Sunday – chicken pies and veg.

Ive got some lovely asparagus that I want to use up on Wednesday, and just want to use up all the bits and bobs we have hanging around this week – stew is a great way to use everything that’s leftover!

And here’s a look at a couple of the meals i made last week (creamy pasta, and ham, egg and new potato salad). I really wanted to blog about the BBQ pulled pork I made for Mexican night yesterday, but forgot to photograph it, doh. Will be making again another week though, so I will have to remember to take photos!



I have joined in with mrs m – to join in click on the badge below:

Meal Planning Monday

Live positively #3

This week has been a good one overall. I have to be honest and say that work has been a huge struggle this week – I find myself unable to switch off from work, and am finding the demands of work more than I feel able to deal with. If not for the children and Craig I think I would be really down. Because of them though I fight it – it feels as though I have a niggle all the time though, waiting to get to me if I acknowledge that it is there. I hate this feeling, and yet can’t change it right now. I have to work, and since I have to do it I have to find a way to deal with the stress I feel about it.

But back to the positives, these are the things I have found good about this week:

1. Last night we went to my auntie and uncles wedding reception. They are almost 60 and have been together 30+ years, but finally felt ready to commit to marriage. It was lovely to see them relaxed and happy and in love, and I enjoyed seeing my extended family, who I don’t see enough of.

2. Today we had a Mexican themed tea with my parents and sisters. I made BBQ pulled pork, and dad made a beef chilli and a chicken chilli type co concoction. The food was really good, and i love spending time with everyone.

3. Tomorrow is a bank holiday – huge relief to have an extra day off, even if it does make my days busier at work for the next 2 weeks plus.

4. Rosie has been walking. She takes 4/5 steps confidently now, when she wants to get between set places. She’s growing in confidence with this everyday, and it’s fantastic to see her learning what she can and can’t do. She’s amazing.

5. The girls slept out last night at my in-laws house. It meant I got some much needed time to chat with Craig about rubbish and just be a couple for a bit of time. And we had a lay in (which meant getting up at 8 instead of 6, because we are just like that these days!)

Have a good week 🙂

The ordinary moments – discovering ‘baba’

When Amelia was one she got babies for her birthday. She loved them – said ‘aww’ to them and loved kissing them, and hitting them and dragging them everywhere.

Rosie has just discovered Amelia’s old babas. She’s a little later to figure them out, but now she loves going to stand up to look into the pram, dragging one out, and kissing, eating, cuddling and patting it on the back / hitting it. She loves the babas at the moment, and it really reminds me of her sister at the same age.

The baba is old, has no clothes, and is a scruffy neglected little thing. But Rosie doesn’t care about that, she is learning about cuddles, kisses, love and kindness – In her own baby way of course.

So this is my ordinary moment for this week – I couldn’t get any decent photos because – well, it’s hard to get a baby to pose with a doll! But I just clicked a couple, and although they are most definatly not masterpieces, I do love them because of what they represent to me.

If you want to join in with the ordinary moments, go to and join in 🙂




Creamy Bacon and corgette pasta


This week I wanted to make something a little different to what I usually make with pasta. We all love pasta, the girls especially, and I was fed up of tuna or tomato pasta being all I knew how to make.

So I had a search and found the recipe above. I then tweaked it a bit to make it cheaper to our preference ( the original recipe was tagliatelle, Parmesan cheese, and creme fresh – I used spaghetti, cheddar and a garlic and herb soft cheese).

We all enjoyed this, and it made enough for tea tonight and plenty for lunch tomorrow too, which is always a bonus!

To make, this is what you need:

3 courgettes, coarsely grated
A tub of Pancetta or bacon lardons (I used pancetta)
Spaghetti (I just guesstimated enough for 4 of us!)
200grams Philly – with or without garlic and herbs.
A garlic clove.
A handful of grated cheddar / Parmesan
The rest isn’t on the original recipe, but I also added

One red onion and one diced yellow pepper for extra veg and flavour.

1. Fry the veggies, pancetta and courgette for around 10 minutes. I didn’t add any oil as the pancetta and courgettes release enough moisture.
2. Add the garlic.
3. At the same time, add spaghetti to boiling water to cook.
3. When the spaghetti is cooked, add it to the frying pan with the veggies etc in and mix together.
4. Add the soft cheese and a touch of water if necessary.
5 add half grated cheese and mix.
6. Serve and sprinkle a handful of cheese on top.
7. Done.

This was a really delicious tea, and we all really enjoyed it. I will be making it again as it’s quick and easy, and we all liked it a lot. Let me know if you try it 🙂



Meal planning Monday

This week I have decided to try some different meals, something to get a little excited about. I am also quite poor though, so I’ve tried to think of slightly different but affordable meals, that we will all enjoy and don’t take too long to make.

So with that in mind, here’s my plan for the week.

Monday – some kind of stir fry concoction. I would like to do a spicy beef, veg and noodle stir fry. It has to be quick and simple as we work Mondays. But we haven’t had stir fry for months as the kids don’t like it, so it will still make a nice change.

Tuesday – Craig cooks so he’s in charge.

Wednesday – pasta. I want to try this corgette and bacon pasta recipe : . I never experiment with pasta – i stick to tuna pasta or tomato pasta. This looks like a lovely change, so going to give it a go.

Thursday – gammon, egg and new potato salad.

Friday – film night – leftover ham, eggs, rice and beans.

Saturday – we are at a wedding reception and girls are sleeping out, so just a sandwich to keep us going I think.

Sunday – Mexican night with family. We are each going to bring something – my contribution will be slow cooked (hopefully pulled) spicy pork, shredded beef, and maybe a salsa. Nom.

I have joined in with the linky run by At home with Mrs M – click on the badge below for more information 🙂 I enjoy this as it reminds me to plan my meals, helps me budget and it reminds when when I forget what I have planned for each day!

And I will just finish my post with a couple of the meals we had last week – I was a bit rubbish and kept forgetting to take photos, so only got a couple, but I’ll try to get better at this!

Meal Planning Monday




Live positively, week 2


This week it is easy to find positives. We have had a good week, had lots of fun,and just enjoyed the mini heart wave! Here are my highlights:

1. Day trips. We have been out and about this week, to our favourite park and a little further out. We have also spent some time playing in the garden. It’s all felt like a holiday – I’ve hardly thought about work at all, and have ignored all the housework and other bits that usually take up so much of my time. I’ve enjoyed the time with my kids, and enjoyed laughing and playing and talking.

2. Amelia had a really good swimming lesson this week, I was really proud of her as she tried hard, listened well and gave everything a go. She seemed really grown up In the water this week.

3. I saw my friend and her gorgeous baby boy, and we had a good catch up, breakfast in a cafe and a small walk, plus I bought a couple of bargains in a charity shop. It was a nice day.

4. The weather. The weather has been a huge positive for me this week – not too hot, just nice, and a change from greyness.

5. Blogging. I’ve got really interested in my blog again this week. I got to a point where I lost my confidence with it, as there are so many brilliant blogs that it made me doubt my own. But this week I’ve just been writing it for me, because I enjoy writing it, and taking photos for it.



Survival tips for working parents.

Working when you have children is exhausting. I have worked full time for a year, stopped work while on maternity work, and now I’m part time. These are my basic tips for anyone who is returning to work with children.

1. Get a cleaner. I really think this is important. I didn’t have one when I worked full time as it seemed like a waste of money. But my house was always a tip, and i would spend my weekends tidying – just to keep on top of it, it was never clean. Now I have someone come for 2 hours a fortnight – it keeps me sane! I am able to keep on top of things (just about) now. I wish I had had one when I was full time – I think it would have made things so much easier.

2. Double up on meals. When cooking something like spaghetti bolognaise I buy a big pack of mince, cook double and freeze half for one of my working days. This means there is always something to eat when I get home late starving!

3. Find time for you. When I worked full time I was desperate for ‘me time’ – I was never alone and never had time for my hobbies and It was hard. Make the most of. Any time you can get, even if it is just to sit quietly for half an hour.

4. Don’t stress the little things. I don’t iron, i don’t worry about everything being immaculate (never going to happen)! And I don’t worry if we have beans on toast for tea occasionally. Sometimes things go wrong – don’t make it more difficult than it has to be.

5. Enjoy your children. This is really number one. On Saturday mornings, we have a special breakfast (scrambled egg on toast usually), watch cartoons, get every toy out and sometimes we can’t see the floor. This is fine – we need to just relax for a couple of hours – quality time in very busy weeks.

6. Related to the above – but put aside some quality time for them. For example, we have a Friday film night, when we have a ‘film night tea’ popcorn, sometimes cake, and a kids film. We all look forward to this, it signals the start of the weekend, and it’s lovely snuggling up to a good Disney film.

Basically – working with children is hard. Now that I’m part time it’s easier – lots easier – but it still means busy, long days, where we leave the house at 8 and get back at 6 two days a week, and one half day. Do whatever you have to if it makes things easier.


The ordinary moments – our favourite park


I’m sure most parents have a favourite place to go when the day seems endless to have fun with the children. The place where we seem to go once a week is a local park. I don’t know why – I didn’t even like it much pre children, but now it has everything on the park ‘wish list’ (which goes like this:
1. A play park. Essential for Amelia.
2. A cafe. Essential for me.
3. Toilets. Essential for everyone.
4. A duck pond. Okay,not essential but it uses a bit more time up it entertains us for a bit longer.
5. A smallish sand pit. See above.

We seem to have fallen into a routine of going on a Wednesday or Thursday afternoon.

Now, this week we went. And it was one of those perfect days – the sun was shining, and – I can’t explain why but everything was just lovely. Both girls were happy, and we had fun doing little things, like sitting making daisy chains and climbing up the rope pyramid thing (Amelia LOVED this, and climbed over half way for the very first time).

I had my camera, and couldn’t resist taking a few photos. I’ve added my favourites at the bottom of this post.

A very ordinary moment for us – in fact, I half struggled to take photos as it is so ordinary for us. But I love capturing the here and now – before even realising it sometimes change, and then those moments are gone. If you want to join in, have a look at





Our midweek adventure

I surprised Amelia today. I picked her up from nursery, all ready to go straight out on an afternoon day trip. I’d made a picnic, planned where to go and had everything we needed ready. We set off straight away and went on our adventure 🙂

We went about half an hours drive away, to a place called waters edge. It is a viewing point next to the Humber bridge – it used to be chemical wasteland but it’s been turned into a nature reserve. And it was lovely.

We walked, explored, fed apple pie to the ducks (to see if they liked it – they did), had our picnic, climbed, explored the visitor centre, went on the play park. A little bit of everything. It was really hot, and it was nice to be out and about, somewhere new.

Amelia really enjoyed every second – there is a big bridge to cross, where you can see the pond, and we spend ages watching ducks, and laughing at them bobbing their heads into the water.

It was a joy to be there, and we will definitely be returning.

I’ve added some of my favourite photos below, I hope you like them too.