Saturday, 31 October 2015

Happy Halloween

Hello lovely people,

I hope you are having a lovely Halloween.

The children with the help of daddy have spent the afternoon doing their pumpkins.

We had jacket potatoes with sausages and beans for tea (its normally our bonfire night meal so we may have to have it again next week).

No trick or treating tonight for us as the children have decided they are too old at the tender ages of 7,8 and 9. So they are dressed as Cinderella, a teenage mutant ninja turtle. And one of them has a sticky up hair cut.

We are now watching the black cauldron.

Have a wonderful evening

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Bake day

Hello lovely readers,

Today we decided to make lots of goodies as we only get time to do this in the school holidays and the children were desperate to make cakes.
We got up this morning and immediately made a lovely fresh loaf of bread.
It was so tasty that it got used up at lunch time and we had to make another one this afternoon so that sweet man could have some.

We then made cookies.

and sausage rolls
and cakes.

We also played two games of Harry Potter cluedo, hovered the whole house, changed one of the beds, cooked dinner, picked up the kids glasses, did two loads of washing, some ironing and cleaned the kitchen.
What a good day!
Take care

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Food waste but not on friday

Hello Friends,

I wouldn't normally post my food waste on a Tuesday but I have noticed I have let things go a little recently both at home and on my blog. So in an attempt to get back to how things should be here is this weeks food waste post.
My fridge was way overdue for being cleaned out and I am really pleased that it is now clean and as it should be.

Our food waste was a yoghurt, a cheese sauce, bacon, soft cheese and some cakes. I have to admit if I had been more on top of cleaning the fridge this wouldn't have happened.

Our fridge looks much better now and I am really glad that I cleaned the fridge out today as I have a pack of eggs that need to be used up and the children are desperate to make cakes so that will stop the eggs from being wasted and we can freeze some to help with next weeks packed lunches.

I have some butternut squash soup that needs to be used up so I am going to have that for my lunch today. I also have some baked beans that were opened a couple of days ago so one of my boys is happy to have beans on toast for lunch.

I hope you have a lovely day.

Take care!

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Christmas Update

Hi Friends,

I hope you are well. I am here again with my Christmas update, unfortunately, I think the shopping part of it will need to go on hold for a few weeks as we had the opticians today and both my daughter and youngest son need glasses. My daughter is short sighted and only needs them for computer work, reading and the interactive white board at school. My son however has astigmatism in both of his eyes and is both long and short sighted in both eyes so will have to wear them all the time and this is linked with dyslexia. Ouch expensive!

So for a smaller Christmas update this weeks room to clean is my two youngest sons room, this is another room that is badly in need of decorating so it may take me longer than a week. Included in this cleaning I am going though all their clothes and pulling out anything that is too small. I also plan on scrubbing their bunk bed and sorting through their toys. Quite a task.

I still plan to carry on cooking and organising December food because the less I have to spend on food the more I can spend on Christmas presents for the ones I love!

This week I am going to make out stuffing, I make a sage and onion stuffing using breadcrumbs, fresh sage, onions and sausage meat and this is a big favourite in our house.

I may also make some more cookies for the lovely little ones.

I was very lucky this week to pop into our local supermarket before the opticians shock and get a few cars for my youngest two boys stocking.

I remember last year my darling dad saving me some vouchers out of the newspaper to get some packs of Lego for the children's stockings. They are big Lego fans and loved them and of course they were free. I do love a freebie!
Take care!

Monday, 26 October 2015

Menu Plan Monday

Hello Friends

I'm a bit late with my menu plan today because I have spent four hours washing and ironing our winter clothes.

But here we go with this weeks menu.

Monday - Tacos with Cheesy Nachos

Tuesday - steak and onion rolls

Wednesday - chicken casserole

Thursday - shepherds pie

Friday - Halloween buffet

Saturday - Jacket potatoes with cheese and beans

Sunday - Gammon, roast potatoes, cauliflower cheese, carrots and corn on the cob

Well that's this weeks menu, for our Halloween buffet we are going to have cheese and crackers, toffee apples, mini hot dogs and crisps and dips with lots of sweets.

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Yay for lazy saturdays

Hi dear friends,

I thought I would write a bit more of a light hearted post today just letting you know what we have been up to.

I woke up this morning at about four o clock, I think this was because my sweet girl was at her first sleepover and subconsciously I was missing her. I couldn't get back to sleep so I got up.

I pottered doing bits and bobs like unloading the dishwasher, making coffee and sitting and drinking it, I then made the boys their breakfast.
I had to pick sweet girl up at nine. So at eight o clock I left home and popped into our local supermarket because it was having a toy sale. I bought six cars in varying sizes mainly for my youngest son as he has a big car holder that isn't yet full so I thought they would be good for his stocking.  I also saw a magic set that I think my other young son would like and now I wish I had got it.

I then picked up my daughter, yay finally, and gave her about five million cuddles. Yes I missed her.
We came home and sat and watched films, both tomb raiders had sandwiches for lunch and butternut squash soup for tea.

Tidied the kitchen, hovered downstairs, read and hugged the lovely little ones and now I'm chilling with the sweet man.

Have a lovely evening.

Friday, 23 October 2015

Sorry for the absence

I am very sorry that I haven't posted much this week, we have had two nights of parents evenings which meant working late.

Parents evening that we had to attend for two of our children and an options evening to discuss the options that our year nine student will choose at the end of the year.

We were also advised about the changes that are being made to our children's GCSE exams and ultimately their future which I feel is difficult enough in view of the extortionate house prices and lack of jobs in England as it is. I say England because as I understand the other part of the United Kingdom are not being affected by the changes to the GCSE's.

It is not very often that I will make any comments on anything that our government does but in this case I genuinely believe they have lost every marble that they may have had!

Our poor children have lost the ability to do coursework, yes we have gone back to 1988 when the GCSE's first came in (I know that because I was one of them guinea pigs that took that exam) and after changing them because they didn't work the first time they have decided to give them a second go... Just to make sure that they didn't work!

So sadly, any child that struggles with nerves or anxiety as many children do now, will become further stressed because there work is assessed on a two and a half hour exam only and not several pieces of work and an exam. I would be interested to see the effect this has on the mental health of our children as there are already serious concerns regarding the increase in children who are suffering from mental health issues.

That is not all my dear friends... oh no our government has decided it would be beneficial to increase the difficulty of our exams to the point that the children will be studying many things that were previously included in A levels and on top of that to cap the amount of children that can actually pass these exams in the first place.

So even if they have worked solidly for three years and achieved really good result if they are in a clever year group there is still no guarantee they will pass there exams.

And those poor children who have special needs have no chance, so thank you for making our children future look even bleaker than they previously did.

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Christmas Update

Hello again, we are back to another Christmas update.

Last week I told you that the room I would be Working on getting Christmas clean would be my daughters room and that this would probably take two weeks, guess what? I was right it is definitely going to take two weeks.  We have made a start but we are not getting very far, very quick.

This weeks extra meal that I am going to cook will be a beef and onion in gravy with a mashed potatoes topping similar to a shepherds pie but with braising teak instead of mince. This is a new recipe but seems like it would be quite hearty and warming, so I hope it works.

The baking that I intend to do this week is a coffee and walnut cake as my sweet man loves this and he only treats himself to cake occasionally.

The present that I am going to buy this week will be for my darling mum, and I intend to buy her a nice warm jumper and a good book.  I have also bought my daughter another dress, its long and flowing and I know she will love it.

I do need to start getting some ideas for boys soon though, but girls are just so much easier to buy for.

Have fun and take care!

Sunday, 18 October 2015

sunday spending

Hi, so this week I have managed to keep a spending update.

14.10.15 Lidl £45.00
16.10.15 co-op £12.00
17.10.15 ASDA £47.00

Total £104.00

Four pounds over our target of £100.00, which I am quite happy about. Its easy enough to make that up over the next couple of weeks.

Now just for a little chat, here are the things I have done today
  • Hovered upstairs
  • Two loads of washing
  • Cooked a roast dinner Yum
  • Packed three lunches for tomorrow- my daughter is having a school dinner
  • Sat with my youngest whilst he completed his maths homework
  • Bathed all the children

The other thing that I have done today is organised a homework routine with my second eldest son.

We discussed that he had a maths homework - linear equations to complete. He was not fully confident with this so we sat together completing the worksheet until he fully understood and managed to finish the sheet accurately on his own.

He also had science revision sheets to complete for a test on Tuesday. This had a suggested time of an hour to complete. This took us six hours and we still have to go over this again tomorrow evening so that he is confident and comfortable when he goes into the test.

He has Spanish revision sheets for a test also on Tuesday, we have not had time to do this so this is something we need to work on tomorrow. This is a subject I find difficult to help with as I don't speak Spanish.

He has an Art homework that has to be in on Wednesday, this is to complete a fact file about  mythical creature including a life like drawing and information written in your own words. This has a recommended two hour time slot and will have to be done Tuesday when the tests are over. He has already chosen to do big foot.

He has a history homework that luckily doesn't have to be in until the 2nd November which is to create a mind map on why World War 1 started to help with a controlled assessment.

He will have more homework given o him this week but luckily as we have half term next week we can fit in some fun time too. Whilst doing his maths homework he let me in on a little secret a young girl in his class had sent him a message the night before telling him she really liked him. Bless!

Saturday, 17 October 2015

saturday update

Good afternoon.

Its very cold today and when the weathers like this I just want to snuggle under a cover and either watch movies or read a book.

But I really haven't been lazy all day here is a list of the things I have done today
  • Two loads of washing
  • Dusted downstairs
  • Swept downstairs
  • Washed the floors downstairs
  • Cleaned the downstairs bathroom
  • Organised dinner
  • Cleaned the mirrors downstairs
I need to get the children to do there homework but I think I might let them of today and get them to do it in the morning.

The children only have four days at school next week and then its half term unfortunately I have to work on the Friday and it looks like we have to have training at a different school.

I just went to make a coffee on request of two of the male members in my house and I thought, I know, I bought some chocolate biscuits this morning we can all have a couple with our coffee.  I open the cupboard not only to find someone has already opened them but three quarters of the pack have already been eaten so do you know what they with their coffee? Not a thing greedy pair! How do I know its them I hear you ask? Because they are the only ones that can eat them! And it certainly wasn't me!
When I drop my son to work tonight I think I will have to get another pack and HIDE them.

Have a lovely relaxing evening.

Friday, 16 October 2015

wow, what a busy day!

Hello friends,

Ha, it is 10.30pm and the first time I have sat down today!

So it was a busy, hectic but hilarious day at work today where I spent the majority of it breathlessly laughing in the corner whilst the children looked at me as if I had gone mad. But hey you have to enjoy your job don't you.

This was followed by a fast walk home and turning my littlest sweet boy into a blood sucking vampire.

Rushing him up to the first school disco. Rushing back home to get my next sweet boy that is too cool to wear anything but a mohork ready and turn my sweet girl into medusa with a death stare.

Rush off to pick sweet boy four up from his disco, then drop sweet boy three and sweet girl off to her disco. Drive sweet boy one to his night job at the local supermarket, have a quick chat with a colleague about our day and the back to pick them back up from their disco.

Oh to find out that my daughter told one of my colleagues that mummy has serious road rage because I shouted at the lights for taking ages to change whilst I was rushing.

Finally home and time for a quick post and then bed!

Take care

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Home Made Chicken Curry for Nathalie

Hi friends

A couple of weeks ago I posted that we were having chicken curry for dinner, my dear friend Nathalie asked if I would post the recipe. So here it is.

Chop garlic, onions and red chillies and fry in a pan.

Add the chicken thighs to the frying pan.

Make a mix using one teaspoon each of hot chilli, garam masala, oregano, Ground turmeric, paprika, cumin, ground coriander, star anise, cardamom and coriander seeds. These are then added to the frying pan for a couple of minutes coating the chicken and onions.

We then add two tins of chopped tomatoes and some chicken stock and cook on a low to medium heat on the stove for an hour.

We have it with Rice and fresh Coriander.

Its a tasty meal and it freezes well.

Take care and have a good evening.

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Christmas Update

Hi dear friends.

Ooh that c word is getting closer very quickly.

This weeks cleaning is bedroom number 2 which is my daughters room and I have to admit this could actually take me longer than a week. Why? I hear you ask. Because whilst she is fairly tidy, she is not particularly clean. She has make up on things that they really should not be on and she has a lot of STUFF!

Luckily my cleaning plan allows for more than one week to be spent on an area if needed. If I had the time I would actually paint this room but instead I will have make do with washing the walls, washing the curtains and the bedding. I do have Christmas bedding for the children but I won't put this on until December.

I have already made leek and potato soup for the freezer this week as this is always very hearty and warming on a cold evening. By the way it is getting cold quickly around these parts, one of my little men asked me to get his gloves out today brrrr!

So this week I think I will try and get some cheap fruit and make an apple crumble and I know my mother in law has some rhubarb going spare so a rhubarb crumble too for the freezer.

The extra shopping that I am going to buy this week are chocolates for the Christmas tree. These are a treat for the children when they get in from school the week before we break up so I do buy quite a few of these.
This weeks Christmas present that I am going to buy is for my sweet man and I am going to get him some shaving cream and eau de toilette that he is running out of.

I thought this week it would be nice to show you some presents, so here is what I have for my daughters stocking so far.

And I wrapped them today.

And here are the first few main presents that I have bought her.

I really hope you planning is coming along well.

Take care

Monday, 12 October 2015

Menu Plan Monday 12.10.15

Hello lovely people, I hope you are all well.

Its time for another weekly menu.
Monday - Minted Lamb chops and sauté potatoes
Tuesday- Sausage and tomato pasta with garlic bread
Wednesday - Jacket potatoes with either Tuna or cheese and beans
Thursday - Lasagne with garlic dough balls
Friday - bratwurst hotdogs with fried onions
Saturday - chilli and Rice
Sunday - Roast beef with horseradish, roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding and roasted vegetables
Mmm I'm quite looking forward to Sunday!
Well that's this weeks meals organised. Have you done yours yet?
I have spent most of the weekend listening to the star wars music and I still am!
Sweet man and sweet boy 2 have been playing the battlefront 3 beta on the Xbox and PlayStation but at least that's two more present ideas for me.
Well I have just bought some more stocking items in the sale.
Take care

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Sunday update 11.10.15

Hi, is it really Sunday already?

I have had another productive day, are you ready? This is what I have done today.

  1. Two loads of washing
  2. Hovered upstairs
  3. Dusted upstairs
  4. Wiped down the bathroom
  5. Took the boys for haircuts
  6. Packed up six lunches
  7. Made leek and potato soup for tea, lunch tomorrow and twelve portions to freeze for Christmas
  8. Helped the kids with their homework
  9. Read with the kids
  10. Bathed the kids
Didn't I do well!

I haven't been monitoring how much we have been spending on food for the last two weeks but I will be starting that again tomorrow, so next Sunday we will be doing a spending update again. Sorry I have let this slip.

Now whilst sweet man and sweet boy 2 are watching something I am really not keen on I am going to disappear upstairs and have a bath. Unfortunately I don't have a good book to read.

Take care

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Achieving lots

Hello my dear friends,
It has been a busy day around here today. I went to bed very early last night after spending 2 hours and 15 minutes walking and yes I was tired.
Because of the early night I woke up very early this morning and managed to get the whole bottom floor of my house dusted, polished, hoovered, the floors washed the toilet cleaned. Two loads of washing done and put on the line.
Followed by two hours spent ironing and then the food shopping done for the week.
I love days where you can go to bed knowing that you have achieved something.
I still have a couple more loads of washing to do and clean the upstairs of the house but I do feel as if I am getting there.
Have a nice evening

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Not much going on

Hello friends,

I hope you are having a lovely week.

I have just picked up my second eldest son from his school open evening. He was showing around prospective pupils that are currently in year six.

This time next year we will be making this decision for our daughter. Luckily for us it is an easy decision because although she will take her eleven plus she will most likely be going to the same school as her older brother.

For those parents that are making this decision for the first time though it is  very difficult but I do believe that following your gut feel on a school is the right thing to do and has certainly always worked for us.
So what else have we been up to, not much really this week I am having to work extra hours and sweet man is also working extra hours as he currently doesn't have a manager so he is acting manager as well as doing his own role so its busy, busy in our house.

The children are as busy as ever with choir, basketball, cadets and tea with friends.
Today I was given a big bag of pears by a colleague. These will be making an appearance in the lunch boxes and maybe also a desert or cake. Yummy!

I hope things are running smoothly in your world my dear friends.

I'm sorry for the lack of pictures but I am posting this from my phone and pictures never seem to work very well.
Take care

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Organising for christmas

Hello friends,

Its time for another organising for Christmas update, cleaning this week I am going to pick a very easy room as I really don't have a lot of time on my hands due to work commitments. I am choosing to clean sweet boy one and twos room as I have given this a thorough clean in the last few weeks so it shouldn't take too long.

The present I am going to buy this week will be for my lovely sister-in-law, I'm not too sure what I am going to buy her. We have a tendency to buy each other either comfy slipper boots or warm pyjamas so I am going to have a look online and see what is about.

At the weekend I think I will make some shortbread biscuits and some chocolate chip shortbread biscuits for the freezer.

I haven't done much wrapping over the last few weeks so this week I am planning on putting the stocking bits into the stockings and wrapping them and then I will have a good idea of how much more I need to buy.

The extra items that I am going to buy this week for the Christmas box is crisps and peanuts, I do normally buy quite a few of these because if anyone does arrive unannounced at least I can put these out as a snack.

I hope your Christmas organising is coming along well.

Have a nice evening.