Weekly weigh in – Lost a pound

I wasn’t expecting to lose after being ill last week and feeling down about my weight loss in general so I was surprised when I lost a pound.

Surprised, but pleased because it’s set me on the right path to having a good week. I’ve got a meal plan in place, I’m going to be using my Slimming World journal and I’ve pledged to lose 3lb next week to get back out of the 24 stone category. I really hate being 24 stone, I’m not happy being 23 stone but just seeing 23 instead of 24 on the scales helps psychologically.




Slimming World Cottage Pie with mustard mash

*Photo to be added on Sunday when I make it again as I forgot to take photos last time!*

Serves 4

Syns per serving – 0.5

You will need:

  • Low calorie cooking spray
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 500g minced beef (5% fat or less)
  • 2 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 6 tablespoons tomato puree
  • 2 tsp mixed herbs
  • 1.5kg potatoes peeled and chopped
  • 4 level teaspoons wholegrain mustard (0.5 syn per tsp)
  • Salt and pepper


  • Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C Fan/Gas 6
  • Boil the potatoes until cooked. Drain, mash and add the mustard. If you want a creamier mash, add a couple of tablespoons of fat-free natural yogurt or fromage frais. Set aside.
  • Spray a frying pan with low-calorie cooking spray and fry the onions and garlic for about 5 minutes.
  • Add the minced beef and cooked until browned.
  • Stir in the herbs, chopped tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper and tomato puree.
  • Bring to the boil then cover and simmer for 5-10 minutes
  • Spoon the beef mixture into an oven proof casserole dish. Top with the mashed potato and put in the oven for 30 minutes or until the top has browned.
  • Serve with your choice of vegetables.

#EnjoyMoreWater Challenge with Robinsons

Robinsons Squashed

We recently received a selection of Robinsons Squashed water flavourings along with a water chart and some stickers to encourage the girls to drink more water.


They were very excited and straight away went outside to do a water challenge YouTube video; they do love their YouTube challenge videos!


Since getting these bottles of Squashed, the other squashes we’ve got in the kitchen have been ignored. Kaycee puts one in her bag for school so she can add it to her water drinks throughout the day and we’re soon going to have to buy more because there aren’t many bottles left!

I now see why there aren’t many bottles left after seeing how many squirts the girls used in each drink! They have now been instructed on the correct amount to use in the future!

They’ve enjoyed filling in the star chart and do seem to have been choosing water more often since we got the bottles of Squashed. They’ve also been choosing bottled, flavoured water for their packed lunches over fruit flavoured pouches :)

Robinsons squashed water chart



This post is an entry for BritMums #EnjoyMoreWater Challenge, sponsored by Robinsons

Feeling better

I’ve not been on the blog much this week due to being ill for the majority of it.

As I mentioned on my weekly weigh-in post, I started last Sunday night, all of a sudden, with a sore throat. Ant had started with it a few days before and the girls had been complaining of a sore throat as well so it was inevitable that I’d get it!

I didn’t go to work at the charity shop on Tuesday and when my mum phoned in the afternoon, she didn’t recognise my voice and when I told her it was me, she said I sounded like a bloke!

Mysore throat went by Friday but the stuffy head and nose have only just gone.

Normal service will resume tomorrow now I’m fighting fit again :)



Weekly weigh in – Didn’t weigh today

Weekly weigh in

I started Sunday night with a sore throat. It came on all of a sudden and knocked me off my feet for a few days. I wasn’t able to work at the charity shop yesterday or do the weighing at … Continue reading

Shed Makeover #PimpMyShed

You may remember that we started work on our garden the other week. I’ve been planning on lots of changes this year in the garden after it having been a bit neglected so when Ocean Finance challenged me to #PimpMyShed on a budget of £75 I said yes, of course!

We’ve been hampered by the rain somewhat in the past week but we finally managed to transform the shed from a boring storage area into a place where the girls can go and relax and have their own space.

Kaycee’s planning on using it to film her YouTube videos (the link takes you to her channel and if she got a comment or two on one of her videos, she’d be so excited!) and both of them have asked if they can sleep in there sometime!

So onto the photos.


garden before 01

We had to move the greenhouse and take up the brick and slab base.


Garden before 2

Then store everything in the greenhouse that was previously stored in the shed.


empty shed


Shed after

Hanging basket on shed

Metal Butterflies on shed

Inside shed

I’ve just noticed that I forgot to get Ant to paint the pointy bit blue near the ceiling….I wasn’t tall enough to reach!




Handmade sofa


Moshi monsters

Shelves inside shed

Kaycee and Ella enjoying their shed

I have to admit, we haven’t done the full transformation for £75. The sofa, for instance, was made by the super wonderful husband using wood, sponge and material that he’d saved over the years in case it came in handy!

The paint for the inside of the shed was all from leftover tins we’ve collected over the years. We used some light blue emulsion as an undercoat. We bought it for Aiden’s room a few years ago and had over half a tin left.
The magnolia was leftover from when we moved in here, the pink was from when we last decorated Kaycee and Ella’s bedroom in the old house and the dark blue was again from Aiden’s room when he had a Spongebob themed bedroom!

We bought the paint for the outside of the shed from B&Q on the bank holiday weekend, they had it on offer, 1 tin for £22 or 2 for £23.

We’ve got enough leftover to paint the other shed as well which is great because it looks horrible at the moment.

The bookcase and ottoman are out of the girls room.

The cushions, heart lights, battery operated pretend candles, bird wind chime, and metal butterflies were from B&M and came from the budget, as did the flowers in the baskets and planter.
I already had the hanging baskets and planter so saved money there.

Ant also had lots of carpet tiles stored in his garage from when the computer shop closed so we didn’t have to buy flooring either :)

We spent £25 on plants and the rest on the various decor items.

We still have lots more work to do; we want to put a patio in front of the shed for the girls and clear the area to the right so we can plant some fruit trees as Ant wants a mini orchard up there :)
It’s still looking very messy up there but hopefully, we’ll get lots done this summer.

This post is in collaboration with Ocean Finance.

11 Reasons why he’s the most super wonderful father!

Firstly, we want to wish this man a very happy father’s day.

Kaycee and dad

We all adore him and wanted to share just a few of the reasons why he’s a super wonderful father :)

  1. He makes them laugh – even when they’re being grumpy and trying to refuse to laugh, he gets them to give in!
  2. He has a ‘daddy fix it’ box for them to put broken things in. It’s not very often he comes across something he can’t fix :)
  3. He enjoys reading to them and they love it when he reads Enid Blyton stories at bedtime.
  4. He doesn’t take any nonsense and knows when they’re trying to pull a fast one! Unlike me who believes just about everything they say!
  5. He doesn’t panic. He remains calm no matter what the situation, which in turn helps to stop me panicking!
  6. He’s an excellent cook and really takes care to serve up meals that not only taste delicious, they always look wonderful. The girls say my cooking is ok but dad takes care to make them look nice!
  7. He can turn his hand to anything and this week knocked up a sofa out of off cuts of wood, for the ‘she shed’ we’ve been making for the girls :) We said, can you make us a sofa and he said yes of course and now we have a brilliant handmade sofa!
  8. He toughens them up. I mollycoddle them, like letting them come in and sit down if they fall off their bike and graze their knee, he gets them back out there and back on the bike :)
  9. He’s really clever and one of my standard answers, when they’re asking tough questions is, ‘go and ask your dad, he’ll know!’.
  10. He loves me unconditionally and treats me with the utmost respect. He’s a wonderful role model for our girls and Aiden.
  11. He loves them all and is there for them whenever they need him :)

Ella and dad

For anyone wondering what we bought him from HomeSense, it was a pasta maker that is currently attached to the kitchen table and his very first attempts at making pasta (tagliatelle) are hanging over a coat hanger, drying!

Window shopping!

One of the great things about the internet is being able to go window shopping at 10 o clock at night, in the cosiness of your own home!

I’m not usually one to bother with new clothes; I prefer to spend the money on clothes for the kids rather than myself but just lately I’ve been thinking it would be nice to have something different to wear.

I went to a ladies day at my friend’s pub yesterday and I was very underdressed. I’ve never really been a fan of dresses but all the ladies looked really nice in their posh dresses and hats and I went wearing a black top that has a glittery effect and a pair of black trousers.
It would have been nice to wear a dress for a change (not sure I could pull off a hat, though!), like these from StyleWe.

Style We short sleeve midi dress

Style We dress

I’ve also been looking at new coats. The coat I have is about 17 years old. I bought it from Bon Marche before Aiden (16) was born so I think it’s about time I had a new one!

I love this coat but I probably wouldn’t be brave enough to buy it, I’m usually a little more conservative!

Style We coat


It’s my 40th birthday next month, I think I might treat myself to something new to wear for when we go for a meal. It’ll make a change to buy an outfit for me instead of the girls!


iPhone troubles – not getting texts

I’ve loved my iPhone since the first one I had and I couldn’t see myself ever changing to another phone but just lately I’ve been getting a bit annoyed with it.
It was just little things at first but this past week it’s been doing my head in. I’ve not been receiving text messages and I didn’t realise for a couple of days until Ant asked why I wasn’t replying to the texts he’d sent.

I could send texts, no problem but couldn’t receive them. At first, I thought it was just texts from Ant that I wasn’t getting but it turned out it was all texts.

I googled the problem and watched YouTube videos and read help forums and reset my iPhone to factory settings and sat chatting to an O2 guru for over half an hour trying to get it sorted but nothing worked.

The O2 guru said I’d have to take my phone into one of their shops and let one of their guys/gals have a look at it for me.
I thanked him for trying to help and ended the conversation.

Ant suggested it wasn’t a problem with my phone, he thought it was a problem with the sim card so to test his theory we swapped sim cards and sent texts to each other’s phone.
My iPhone received the text straight away so that confirmed it wasn’t the phone.

We swapped sim cards back and I resigned myself to the fact that a trip into town was in order.

A minute or so later, my phone started beeping and beeping and beeping. All the text messages I’d been sent for the last week or so came in :oD

I wish I’d known it was as easy as changing sim cards, it would have saved me all that time googling, watching, reading and typing!


Weekly weigh in – Terrible gain

I had a rubbish week.  It started off with a lovely meal out with the other volunteers from the charity shop I work at but unfortunately, I didn’t make the best food choices (fish and chips followed by chocolate brownie!) and I know from experience that if I don’t have a good Wednesday, I don’t have a good week.

I tried getting back on track on Thursday and managed to stick to the plan all day, having less than 10 syns.
Friday wasn’t too bad but then the weekend came and I started craving chocolate.
I bought a bag of chocolate crumble (can’t remember what the proper name is, we just called it choco crumble when I was a kid!) that worked a=out at about 50 syns for the bag. I ate the whole bag and after that, I just went to pot.

I had biscuits and ice cream without synning them and generally had a ‘totally can’t be bothered’ attitude.

That attitude ended in a whopping gain of 6lbs.

Suffice to say, I’m back on it this week and I want that 6lb back off next week. I’ve got a meal out tomorrow so today I’m having under 10 syns to make up for it.
I’m using my SW daily journal to keep track of everything and plan ahead.

I have my blood test on Monday to check my thyroid then back at the doctors next Wednesday to get the results.
I also have an eye test booked for next Monday as my doctor wants to see if it could be my eyes that’s causing my daily headaches.

I’m constantly feeling exhausted and the headaches are getting me down. I have to fight the urge to give up; I want to get back below 24 stone again next week. I hate being in the 24 stone category but I have to not let it get me down this week by dwelling on it otherwise I’ll just keep going up and up and I’m not undoing the hard work I did that first year, getting 7 stone off.