Wednesday, 30 September 2015

What a week!

Hello my dear friends,

It has been a bit of a manic couple of days in our little part of the world.

Sweet man has been away in Belgium for the last few days and a lot has happened to him during that time, with job offers in a different country, another local company ringing to discuss a job they have had arise and his own company ask if he would be interested in going for a promotion. Poor man is sitting here completely confused.

Yesterday, I received a phone call from sweet boy 2's school asking if I could go down there straight away. When I arrived I was asked to go into the medical room (always a bad sign). There he was with his legs covered in the most horrific grazes I have ever seen. The medical lady advised me he had an accident playing basketball and she was sorry his legs were a mangled mess.
We went to the doctors and they removed a cupful of gravel from his knees. Poor boy. He now has large medical swabs on both knees and has to go back Friday.

Today I found out that my youngest, sweetest little man has dyslexia. I knew he struggled reading and writing and at the back of my mind I think I had an idea this was likely but to hear it was difficult especially as he is the type of child who accepts everything. But now I know it is time to fight and see what help I can get for my darling little fellow. If anyone has any advise on what you can do to help a dyslexic child please could you let me know. You can contact me on my blog or on my email address which is on my information page.
On a fun note my eldest boy is off tomorrow with his dad and my brother to the Munich beer festival for a belated birthday present. I hope he has a wonderful time!

Well that's it for today as I need a large glass of wine. Have a great evening!

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Christmas Countdown week 5


Hello Friends,

We are on week five of the Christmas countdown.

This weeks cleaning area is the lounge, this is the main room that we decorate with Christmas decorations. I like to make sure that all the skirting boards are washed, any marks on the walls are cleaned off, the curtains are washed and every where is thoroughly cleaned.

This weeks freezer meal is bacon and potato hotpot which is one of our favourite winter meals so I intend to make a large one so that we can have it two days.

This week I have bought a few Christmas stocking items but not a main present as Sunday is my dads 70th birthday and most of our present money will be spent on him.

I managed to get a couple of drinks cups for my boys stockings very cheap they were originally £7.00 each but I found them in our local supermarket reduced to £1.00 each but when I got home I realised the lady at the till had only put one through but given me both. I also managed to get a pink pencil sharpener in the shape of an iPod for 10p. What can you buy for 10p now.

For baking this week I am going to make some sausage rolls as all the family love homemade sausage rolls so I tend to freeze a lot of them, I normally freeze them uncooked so that we can have them hot on Christmas eve and boxing day.

This week I am going to start writing our Christmas cards so that another job will be out of the way.

Have a nice evening and take care!

Monday, 28 September 2015

Menu plan monday 28.09.15

Sorry I have been away for a few days. There are reasons for my absence and in time I will probably let you know but at the moment I need to keep things to myself for a bit.

We are back with menu plan Monday so thinking cap is now on and I will try to think of an edible menu.

Monday - Chicken burger and chips

Tuesday - sliced pork, mashed potatoes, green beans and sweetcorn

Wednesday - sausages in Yorkshire puddings, roast potatoes, sweetcorn and gravy

Thursday - Jacket potatoes with tuna, sweetcorn and salad

Friday - cod and chips

Saturday - Bacon and potatoes hotpot

Sunday - Leftover bacon and potatoes hotpot

Have you done your menu for the week yet? If so do you have anything new and yummy on your menu yet?

Have a wonderful evening.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Ha ha little ones christmas lists

Hi friends I hope you are all well. Were half way through the week.

I took a leaf out of my dear friend Natalie book today because I had bought a bag of popchips for myself and the children. They were a salt and vinegar flavour but when we tasted the there was no flavour at all. I emailed them and very quickly got a reply asking me to tell them the expiry date and the number on the back of the pop so they could look into the error, and if I could give them my address they would send me some more. Great customer service popchips. I am so glad I did this as I have been told they are lovely and normally I just wouldn't have bought them again but because they were so quick to reply and are sending a replacement I would certainly buy more.

Two of my children got new hand writing pens today to help with how they form their letters so to try them out before taking them to school tomorrow they decided to write there Christmas list.

Sweet boy 3

  1. My family
  2. Guitar
  3. Beast quest books
Bless him, he can definitely have number one and number three. I am not a big musical instrument person but sweet man is so it depends on who gets their way on this one.

Sweet girl
  1. Ty Teddies
  2. Bath bombs
  3. Mobile phone
Ha ha, one and two no problem but three well she is nine years old, a little young in my book, the rule in our house as far as mobile phones are concerned is once the start at senior school they can have one. In case they are delayed for any reason or if there is a problem walking to or from school. But my daughter is very mature, I know she would not take advantage and she would only ring her best friends. So I wouldn't have too much of a problem with this nut sweet man would.

Do you see a theme here? They say opposites attract ha ha!

I will probably end up giving in on the guitar as long as he has head phones because that is what I normally do. Sweet man will not give in so I will need to come up with something she would like just as much.

Have a relaxing evening

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Christmas Countdown week 4

Hi friends, I hope you are all well.

Its week four of our Christmas countdown and this week I am concentrating on our conservatory. This room is a bit of a dumping ground as it doubles as a laundry room.  I have the washing machine and indoor washing line in there and I also tend to keep the washing that needs to be ironed in there.

This room as you can imagine is full of windows so most of the work in there involves cleaning windows.

The meal that I intend to double up on this week and put away for Christmas is Spaghetti Bolognese.

This will make four meals put away in the freezer. Yippee a nice easy December.

The extra store cupboard items that I intend to buy this week are two bottles of appletiser as we give this to the children with Christmas dinner. We have champagne and we did buy the children no alcohol wine but they didn't like it so we now buy appletiser as the all really like it.
The present that I need to buy this week is going to be for my eldest son, I feel in a bit of a quandary about this present because it is something that he wants but not something he really likes. Let me explain my son is a big Arsenal fan and has every shirt that they have brought out since he was five. The other day he pointed at an Arsenal shirt and said "Don't you think that shirts awful mum? Can I have it for Christmas?"

I feel sad buying him something he doesn't like but I know he would be upset if I didn't get it for him.

This week I am adding an additional job to my preparing for Christmas list and that is to bake and freeze some chocolate chip cookies. I like the children to have home baked treats over Christmas so from now on I will be adding Christmas treats to my things to make list.

I hope that you are starting to feel quite organised for Christmas, I am.

Enjoy the rest of your evening.

Bye for now

Monday, 21 September 2015

Menu Plan Monday 21.09.15

Good Morning, here we are again at the start of the week.
My ideas for this week have been changed slightly as sweet man is no longer away. We was going to use up all the bits and pieces that are in the freezer and cupboards but now I need to rethink.

Monday - Ham and Cheese whirls, roasted new potatoes and corn on the cob

Tuesday - Pork in a mustard sauce with mashed potatoes and peas

Wednesday - Chicken in a tomato sauce, garlic roast potatoes, roast onions and peppers

Thursday - Soup and fresh bread

Friday - Steak, sweet potatoes chips, onion rings and garlic mushrooms

Saturday - Chilli and Rice

Sunday - Leftover Chilli in Jacket Potatoes

The ham and cheese and pastry sheets I have in the freezer, the new potatoes in the fridge but I do no to get some corn on the cob.

I have a small joint of pork in the freezer which I will slice, I have the mustard sauce in my store cupboard, the mashed potatoes and peas are in the freezer.

The chicken in tomato sauce is in the freezer, but I do need to get some potatoes, but I have peppers and onions in the fridge

I have soup in the freezer and the cupboard. I will need to get more bread

I have steak and onion rings in the freezer, I will need to get some sweet potatoes and mushrooms.

I need to get some mince but all the other ingredients for the chilli I have in the cupboard.

Shopping list for meals

Corn on the cob
Sweet potatoes
Minced Beef

I also need to buy some lunch items for this week. I have cereal, bagels and bread for toast in the cupboard.

Have a lovely day.

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Sunday Spending 14.09.15 - 20.09.15

Hello my dear friends, I hope you are all well and enjoying either a hectic fun weekend or nice relaxing weekend.

Like I said earlier in the week its been quite an expensive shopping week which I thought I would be able to recoup this week but as Sweet man is no longer going away it may not be so easy. 

13.09.15 B & M £25.72
14.09.15 Co-op  £4.80
14.09.15 ASDA £10.20
15.09.15 ASDA £2.00
16.09.15 ASDA £23.11
19.09.15 ASDA £20.77
Total £86.60

Wow I can't believe it we are £14.40 under budget. I thought because of the large cleaning shop that I did at B&M we would be seriously over budget. Yay!!

So far this month

Total £299.22

Ok so, one week to go and we are currently under by 78p. I am feeling quite confident now.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Clean Fridge Friday but a day late!

Hi everybody,

Sorry I wasn't around yesterday, things have been a bit crazy around here, and I didn't make it home until really late yesterday.

But on the plus side I had to pick my son up from his night shift at the local supermarket this morning at 7am (yes 7am on a Saturday!) because of the craziness so I have had chance to get my food waste Friday done, clean my fridge and catch up on everyone news!

So here goes there was a little bit of waste this week in the shape of some leftover cubed ham, 1 tomatoes that must have fallen out of the pack and started to go mouldy, 2 slices of bacon and half a can of beans that I forgot about.

As I've just said I wasn't around much yesterday and look what I found in my fridge.

Why? What possesses children to put empty wrappers back into the fridge. I wouldn't mind but the bin is almost next door to the fridge!

This is the fridge before it was cleaned. There is some chicken thighs in there that need to be used up today so hopefully sweet man might like to make me a yummy curry today as I didn't get the one I had planned last week.

There is also a joint of ham that I need to slice and use up before Friday. Ham, egg and chips anyone?

Here is my fridge looking a bit cleaner, and rubbish fee ha ha!

Ok, so now for a bit of a chat, you know I told you about my sweet boy that was having problems at school last year well yesterday he received a head teachers award for his fantastic literacy work. I am so proud of him and this just goes to show how much happier he is.

Sweet man is no longer going to Switzerland tomorrow, as the trip has been called off for the time being so I probably wont be saving as much money as I thought I would.

Have a lovely day, I am off to put some washing on the line as its the first clear day for about a week.

Thursday, 17 September 2015

How a child changes when they are happy.

Hi, I hope you are all well.

Today I thought I would talk to you about how many things can change when a child is happy.

Last year one of my youngest sons had a very difficult year that changed him into a little boy that I didn't recognise. It started when he was targetted by another child who started saying things like "You can't play because you are little and weak" this escalated to my son being punched on the nose a couple of times and then the violence got worse to the point where the boy was punching and kicking my son and had to be carried off of him.

My son went from a happy outgoing child to a very introverted little boy who wouldn't play with anyone other than his younger brother.
He would hide under his bed before school begging me to not make him go. It was the hardest thing to see we took him to the doctors, to specialists and had so many conversations with the school.

At the start of the school year I was very nervous and concerned about him because during the holidays he had started to go back to being the happy little boy that we love so much.

He has a new teacher (a male teacher) who seems to be very on top of everything. My little man comes home from school smiling and laughing. He has started to play with other children again. He talks to adults when they talk to him, instead of just staring at the floor.

At the end of term I received my sons report showing much lower grades than I expected to see. The report said he lacked attention, didn't follow instruction and could be disruptive.
This is a little boy that I barely ever had to tell off at home because he was so good, a boy who could do his older sisters homework and who could spell so well it shocked most people.

Today I had three different teachers tell me how amazing he is and how hard he works, how he listens brilliantly and completes his work with excellent attention to detail.

It is amazing to see what a difference a couple of months can make and a new teacher. When I asked him why he was so much happier this year he replied "My teacher makes me feel safe"

I feel so grateful I know its early days but it seems promising.

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Feeling Poorly

Good evening lovely people, Its just a quick one today, why? I hear you ask, because I am ill! A snuggle up in bed aching all over ill! Yuk!

Here are five reason I know that I am ill, and yes all of these things happened to me today.

  1. A young man who I was working with today stood looking at me and when I asked why he told me I was sitting in his seat (oops)
  2. It was pouring with rain and I walked straight past my car got to the end of the road and realised and had to walk back
  3. I pored my sweet man a tea and myself a coffee and put his two sugars in my coffee Yuk!
  4. When putting some ironing away I put my daughters clothes in my wardrobe. Oh I wish I was that tiny!
  5. I got annoyed with my daughter when she got one of her maths homework wrong (which I never do)
So after my disaster of a day I am going to have a warm bath, have a lemsip and go to bed.

Have a nice evening!

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Christmas countdown week 3

Good evening dear friends. Here we are again with week three of getting ready for Christmas.

This week my plan is to tidy the children's playroom. There really isn't very much furniture in this room, just a sofa, television stand with television, sky box and games console, a set of drawers and a toy box. However this is the one room I have been putting off for a year, why? I hear you ask. Well because of the toys, I know that there are a lot of toys in this room that are too young for my children now and this makes me feel quite sad!

But tidy I must, there are also a few other jobs that I will need to do in this room along with the cleaning which includes washing the walls, skirting boards, doors and light switches. I also need to mend the curtains in this room as one of the loops has come apart and I need to polyfill a small dent in the wall where the door handle has hit it.

As you will know if you are following along I cook one meal each week for the freezer, I now have a toad in the hole, shepherds pie and this week I am going to cook extra chilli so there is enough in the freezer for seven people.

I add an extra couple of items to my shopping list each week, so I now have two bottles of coke and lemonade and a box of custard. This week I am going to check the cartons of apple juice at the supermarket and if the date is after Christmas I will buy a couple.

Last week I bought a Christmas present for my brother, this week I have bought my daughter a floaty pink dress and I am going to buy my two youngest sons fluffy dressing gowns that I have seen in next. When they are watching Netflix they cuddle up in mine so I know they will love them.

You can't see how fluffy this dressing gown is from the picture.

Monday, 14 September 2015

Menu plan monday

Oh Mondays here already! I guess its time to start planning this weeks menu's, have you done yours yet? If so you are more organised than me.

Ok so I have just had a look in the fridge and the freezer so here goes.


Bratwurst and chips


Chicken, mashed potatoes and corn on the cob


Chicken fajitas and salad


Spaghetti Bolognese


Jacket Potatoes with various fillings


Fish and chips


Pork, roast potatoes and vegetables (with apple sauce)

I am going to admit now that this weeks shopping bill is going to be above the £100.00 maximum spend. But there is a reason for this nathalie suggested last week that I do a shop getting as much of the large items out of the way.  Sweet man is out of the country for a week each month and during that time I am normally without the car as he normally travels whilst I am at work.

Today and yesterday I did exactly that I bought a pack of twenty four toilet rolls, a large washing powder, a large softener, shower gels, shampoo, conditioner and UHT milk as well as our normal shop.

I am hoping that I will regain this money next week as I will just be cooking for myself and the children, and we are really not very fussy about what we eat and can get foods out of the freezer in the morning for that evening. Yay!

I hope you have a lovely evening I need to go and help my daughter with her speech for school councillor bless her. (she is so different to the boys)

Remember tomorrow is Christmas planning number three!

Bye for now.

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Spending Sunday Update 6/9/15 - 12/9/15

Good Morning its Sunday people, wow this weekend is flying by isn't it!

Shall we have a look at this weeks spending. There isn't as many receipts to go through this week, that's a good thing, right?

6/9/15 - £38.65 Sainsbury
8/9/15 - £40.50 ASDA
10/9/15 - £22.99 ASDA
Total spent £102.14

Oh so close! The best so far, £2.14 over budget this week.

£110.48 30/08/15 -5/9/15
102.14   6/9/15 - 12/9/15
Total £ 212.62

Four weekly spending budget


Total left to spend over the next two weeks £187.38

I think this is possible because Sweet man is away for a few days the week after next so we can live out of the cupboards and freezer for that week.

Have a lovely relaxing Sunday!

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Simple Saturdays

Good evening, I hope you are having a lovely relaxing Saturday.

I am, I really haven't been up to very much today. I dropped a large bag of books off at our local Barnardo's charity shop. This shop is very local to us and I have always dropped things that I don't want off there. But after dropping this bag off today I have been thinking maybe I should be looking for a charity that is a bit closer to my heart. I would really like to pass my unwanted things to a cancer charity shop or if there is not one of those in our area the other thing that I truly care about is children (I guess that's why I work in a school) but I hate the thought of children being unwell so maybe a sick children's charity shop. So I am going to see what shops are in our area.

We cooked the chicken that needed to be cooked, we put a fresh lemon and coriander on top and we are going to have it tomorrow with some new potatoes and salad. We also used up the two packets of minced but we did not have the chilli that I planned as sweet man has had a bit of a sore stomach the last couple of days and couldn't face anything hot so we made cottage pie.

I asked the children what they would like to do this morning and they said just play, read books and relax. I think they are missing the school holidays!

From the 5th October we are no longer going to be given bags in our supermarkets but instead will have to pay 5p for every bag we need. I thought you may want to have a look at the bags that Jo from solstice-days is selling in her easy shop. They are lovely, my daughter has mentioned the butterfly bag to me a couple of times today. Please remember to start either leaving your bags in your car or carrying them in your handbag.
(This is the bag my daughter has her eye on - pretty isn't it)
I have been organising next weeks lunches for the week.
Egg or Cheese sandwich
Cucumber and cherry tomatoes
Apples and cheese chunks
Nesquik milk slice
Tuna or cream cheese and cucumber roll
Chicken drumsticks
Boiled egg
Nesquik milk slice
Apple slices and grapes
Chicken salad or cheese salad sandwich
Cucumber slices and cherry tomatoes
Grapes and pineapple pieces
Tuna or cream cheese and cucumber roll
Nesquik milk slice
Apple and pineapple slices
The Nesquik milk slices are reduced in ASDA at the moment and are 50p for four. My children seem to love these.
Have a lovely Saturday evening, I am off to read my book which is The Ice Twins. I am only on the first chapter but it seems very good.

Friday, 11 September 2015

yippee for no food waste!

Good evening! Guess what? I bet you can guess by the title, yes, you're right, I have no food waste this week!

I do have a chicken that needs to be cooked tomorrow, so I think I will cook it and break it up into pieces to use in soups, fajitas and anything that calls for cooked chicken. I also have two packs of minced beef so I am going to convince sweet man that he needs to cook us a chilli tomorrow. I did try to get him to make one today but his reply was "I can't be bothered". Well ok then!

Do you like the photo of my disorganised fridge?

Cleaned it this week!

It still looks disorganised don't you think? Not impressed today, perhaps, it will look better without the minced and chicken tomorrow.

I would like to say thank you to Kristen from a frugal girl for her inspiration.

We have done a full week at school now and I am very pleased that it is the weekend. I have got tired and grumpy a few times this week. But my children have coped better than I have and have had a really good week. I thought you might like to see some back to school photo's that I took on Monday.

thirteen year old (not a great photo of him but it was under duress)

Nine year old - my baby girl

Eight year old (he forgets how to smile in photo's)

Seven year old (our baby)

Have a great evening and weekend

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Reading with children

Hello my dear friends.

Today I want to talk to you about reading I love to read, and I love reading with my children.  It is a very special time when we normally cuddle up in my bed together and most of the time they read to me but sometimes I read to them.

It has been widely commented on in the media recently how children are spending much more time on electronic gadgets and less time reading and specialists are linking this to children becoming less competent at spelling and grammar.

Most children are doing some form of graded reading system at school, where they will read a book and need to have a certain understanding of the book before they can move on to the next one. Which is great because any reading is good for them but I have found with my children the real learning and understanding that they have got from books is the ones they read for pleasure, that interest them and they really take in.

My eldest is not a big reader and never has been but he reads books about his favourite football team and his big passion is sport so he reads biographies of sports people. He is currently trying to learn about American Football (he loves the San Francisco 49ers) so he is reading rule books about that.

My thirteen year old is a big reader, and likes a wide variety of different books he is currently reading a series of books by Megan Rix about dogs during t he war.

Whilst, he likes to lie in his bed and read his books, he will still come and tell me what the book is about and the parts that he likes and why. He will also call his nan and tell her about them as she is a dog lover and then lend them to her. It is nice for both her and myself to have that quality time just chatting with him.

My nine year old daughter is also an avid reader and her and I will often take it in turns to read a chapter to each other, she is currently reading Sapphire Battersea by Jacqueline Wilson this is the second book in the Hetty Feather series and I would highly recommend this for girls of a similar age.

I like the way Jacqueline Wilson touches on some of life's issues in a delicate manner making a young child think about these things without worrying about them.

My eight year old like most eight year old boys is a beast quest fan and again sometimes I read to him and sometimes he reads to me. But the thing I like most about reading with both him and his younger brother is the quiet time that we have before bedtime where they both get to calm down and have a cuddle before they go off to bed and I certainly want to make the most of this time.

 My youngest is becoming a bit of a spy dogs fan, so that is what we are reading together at the moment.

Our favourite book when they were younger and I still read occasionally is we're going on a bear hunt. Love this book!

There are set things that I buy my children for Christmas each year and that's something to wear which are normally comfortable pyjamas, dressing gown and slippers, something to read, which is normally a book they are really into or a box set of books they are into and then finally something they really want.

They love that they are going to get these items every year and they normally have a pyjama day on boxing day and they lay on the sofa reading their books.

Do you love books? Do you read with your children? What are you reading at the moment?  I would love to know.

Have a lovely evening

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Wednesday rambling

Hello, I hope you are having a nice evening, we're halfway through the week. That went fairly quickly didn't it.

Whilst reading other peoples blogs I have noticed that when they talk about their shopping I compare our basics and have noticed that on average most people buy about two loafs of bread a week whilst we normally have about five a week and most people seem to buy two our pint bottles a week but we seem to buy a four pint bottle daily.
Are we really greedy?  We do make about seven lots of sandwiches a day. The children do have milk on their cereal in the mornings and sweet man does have a glass of milk before he goes to bed each night. He says its stops him from getting heartburn.
Next week I have decided to have a go at doing all my shopping in one day, so I know that is going to involve a few different shops and quite a lot of organising prior to going. For our family this is quite a difficult thing to do as we only have one car and I work Monday to Friday and sweet mans days can vary he is normally Monday to Friday but he also has to work every third weekend  as well as going abroad for a week once a month.
I wonder sometimes whether I should do our shopping online but this would restrict me to shopping at one store and i'm not sure I would get any offers.
Over the next two weeks I am going to do a comparison one travelling to various different shops and one shopping online and see which week is easier and which week has better offers and more for our money.
Do you shop online? Which week do you think will work out better?
Have a lovely evening!

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Christmas countdown week 2

Hello lovely people, yes the crazy lady is back again with a Christmas update three months in advance.
How did you get on last week, I know that Nathalie did some Christmas shopping (big yay for forward thinking).
Lets do a little recap on last week - the cleaning area was the hall which included the cupboard under the stairs. This was definitely worth doing as I found an make up advent calendar that I bought for my daughter in the January sales (it had make-up it, not chocolate before you all say yuck!), a hulk racing track, a  swimming costume and a game for my nephew. I then pulled out some stocking fillers that I had in the cupboard.

This week the area that I plan to clean is the downstairs toilet (I don't think I am likely to find any gifts in there, at least I hope not!).

We now have one meal in the freezer for the Christmas period, its time to do another one. This week to coincide with this weeks menu it will be shepherds pie. Remember to label your meal as a Christmas meal.

Last week with the shopping I bought 2 extra bottles of lemonade and put them in a box labelled Christmas hamper. This week I will continue with the drinks and it will be diet coke.

The tasks this week will be to write a Christmas card list, I don't go overboard with writing cards, I just send them to family, close friends and a few for work. I always buy my cards in the January sales so if you have cards Yay well done!

This week I plan to buy one main Christmas present and I am getting one if my most difficult ones out of the way, my brother (why are men so hard to buy for).
If you started to get organised for Christmas last week let me know how you got on. I look forward to hearing all about it.
Have a lovely evening.