Monthly Archives:

November 2011

The Gallery – The Kitchen

My kitchen was filled with a lovely aroma all day yesterday. I cooked a huge pot of vegetable soup and the smell was delicious.
It’s one of my favourite comfort foods on a cold winters day…..I can’t wait for lunch time!

Check out all the other entries over at Sticky Fingers 🙂

Last day of NaBloPoMo….

and I’ve really enjoyed it. Mind you, I’ve been posting every day for a few months now so didn’t find it a real challenge. I did hit a blip around week three I think it was. I had a total block and was very grateful for the Britmums prompts on that day!

I’ve enjoyed having all the links to all the great blogs on the Britmums group and the facebook page.

I’m going to sign up for the December NaBloPoMo. I thought I might as well seeing as I’ll be posting anyway 🙂

Well done to everyone who took part.

Day Zero Project – First task

I’m working on my Day Zero Project and today I’m answering 50 Questions that will free your mind.
I’ve stopped myself reading other people’s answers until I’ve answered because I didn’t want to be influenced.
I’m looking forward to finding out what other people have answered once I’ve published 🙂

  1. How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are? 24
  2. Which is worse, failing or never trying? Failing because it’s better to try and fail than to regret trying.
  3. If life is so short, why do we do so many things we don’t like and like so many things we don’t do? Because that’s life.
  4. When it’s all said and done, will you have said more than you’ve done? Probably
  5. What is the one thing you’d most like to change about the world? I’d like to stop child hunger/poverty.
  6. If happiness was the national currency, what kind of work would make you rich? A small, work from home business, designing blog templates!
  7. Are you doing what you believe in, or are you settling for what you are doing? Full time mum is definitely doing what I believe in 🙂
  8. If the average human life span was 40 years, how would you live your life differently? I’d have had children earlier so I could spend as much time as possible with them.
  9. To what degree have you actually controlled the course your life has taken? I suppose I’ve just gone with the flow for the most part.
  10. Are you more worried about doing things right, or doing the right things? Doing the right things.
  11. You’re having lunch with three people you respect and admire. They all start criticizing a close friend of yours, not knowing she is your friend. The criticism is distasteful and unjustified. What do you do? I’d have to tell them that this person was my friend and I wasn’t comfortable hearing the conversation.
  12. If you could offer a newborn child only one piece of advice, what would it be? Be the best you can be.
  13. Would you break the law to save a loved one? Depends what I’d have to do. I don’t think I could ever hurt/kill another person to save a loved one but then again, you never know what you can do in any given situation until you’re in it.
  14. Have you ever seen insanity where you later saw creativity? No
  15. What’s something you know you do differently than most people? Can’t think of anything for this
  16. How come the things that make you happy don’t make everyone happy? Because life would be boring if everyone was the same.
  17. What one thing have you not done that you really want to do? What’s holding you back? I’ve not taken my kids swimming and it’s because of my weight.
  18. Are you holding onto something you need to let go of? Yeah, all this weight! but I’m working on letting go of it!
  19. If you had to move to a state or country besides the one you currently live in, where would you move and why? I’d move to America, Vermont to be precise because it’s gorgeous there.
  20. Do you push the elevator button more than once? Do you really believe it makes the elevator faster? No
  21. Would you rather be a worried genius or a joyful simpleton? A worried genius
  22. Why are you, you? Lots of reasons, most are private.
  23. Have you been the kind of friend you want as a friend? Not always. I keep forgetting to phone my best friend who’s going through some stuff. Speaking of which, I’m going to phone now.
  24. Which is worse, when a good friend moves away, or losing touch with a good friend who lives right near you? Losing touch with a good friend.
  25. What are you most grateful for? My wonderful husband and beautiful family.
  26. Would you rather lose all of your old memories, or never be able to make new ones? I’d like to be able to pick which old ones to lose but I couldn’t cope with losing them all so I’d have to say not be able to make new ones.
  27. Is is possible to know the truth without challenging it first? Yes
  28. Has your greatest fear ever come true? No
  29. Do you remember that time 5 years ago when you were extremely upset? Does it really matter now? Past is past
  30. What is your happiest childhood memory? What makes it so special? Childhood Christmases always make me happy when I think of them. They were wonderful.
  31. At what time in your recent past have you felt most passionate and alive? When I met my husband
  32. If not now, then when? In about 2 and a half years
  33. If you haven’t achieved it yet, what do you have to lose? Nothing to lose I’m and working on it
  34. Have you ever been with someone, said nothing, and walked away feeling like you just had the best conversation ever? No
  35. Why do religions that support love cause so many wars? No idea
  36. Is it possible to know, without a doubt, what is good and what is evil? Probably not
  37. If you just won a million dollars, would you quit your job? I can’t quit being a full time mum but if I did work away from home in a job I had to do rather than wanted to do, then yes, I’d quit. If I was working in a job I loved then no.
  38. Would you rather have less work to do, or more work you actually enjoy doing? Less work, even if I did enjoy it because let’s face it, work is work.
  39. Do you feel like you’ve lived this day a hundred times before? No
  40. When was the last time you marched into the dark with only the soft glow of an idea you strongly believed in? I’m not that brave so it’s probably never happened!
  41. If you knew that everyone you know was going to die tomorrow, who would you visit today? I’d have my husband and children with me and I’d go visit my mum, dad, brothers and sister.
  42. Would you be willing to reduce your life expectancy by 10 years to become extremely attractive or famous? Never
  43. What is the difference between being alive and truly living? Getting married and having kids made me feel truly alive.
  44. When is it time to stop calculating risk and rewards, and just go ahead and do what you know is right? When you feel comfortable doing so.
  45. If we learn from our mistakes, why are we always so afraid to make a mistake? Because mistakes aren’t fun.
  46. What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you? I don’t think I’d do anything differently.
  47. When was the last time you noticed the sound of your own breathing? Just then when I read the question!
  48. What do you love? Have any of your recent actions openly expressed this love? I love my family and I’m always showing them and telling them, just like they do with me 🙂
  49. In 5 years from now, will you remember what you did yesterday? What about the day before that? Or the day before that? I don’t remember now what I did yesterday so I have no hope in 5 years!!
  50. Decisions are being made right now. The question is: Are you making them for yourself, or are you letting others make them for you? Making them for myself and others. It’s a balance.

Listography – 5 cartoon characters from my youth

I was am a big telly addict and loved cartoons so had to join in with this weeks listography.
Here are my favourites…in no particular order 🙂

1) She-Ra Princess of Power. I started watching He-Man (two brothers and also a bit of a tom boy in those days) and was really pleased when they started showing She-Ra, although I never admitted to watching it if my friends asked!

Image Credit

2) The Raccoons. I loved the raccoons, especially the Christmas special. I’m planning on buying the dvd so me and the kids can watch it together 🙂

Image Credit

3) Inspector Gadget. I always sang along…if you were a fan, I’ll bet you’re singing it in your head right now!

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4) Care Bears. I still love them. I had a cheer bear and it was my most prized teddy for years.

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5) Raggy Dolls and I loved singing along to them as well!

Image Credit

I’m off to check everyone’s lists….if you want to join me, click the pic 🙂


Day Zero Project

I was checking out the posts linked to NaBloPoMo on Britmums and came across a post by Hello it’s Gemma about the Day Zero Project.
I’d never heard of it but thought it was a brilliant idea when I went to check it out 🙂

I’ve spent ages making my list and can’t wait to start working on it.

1 Write a letter to myself to open in 10 years
2 Answer the “50 Questions That Will Free Your Mind”
3 Watch 26 movies I’ve never seen starting with each letter of the Alphabet
4 Complete a 365 day photo challenge
5 Tie a note to a balloon and let it go
6 Read 100 books
7 Influence a person to make a day zero list
8 Dye my hair
9 Have dinner by candlelight
10 Write a short story
11 Make a custom recipe book
12 Make a list of thirty recipes I want to cook and cook them
13 Learn a song on piano
14 Take my kids camping
15 Make a list of 100 songs that I love
16 Kiss at midnight on New Year’s Eve
17 Pass my driving test
18 Read a new book every month
19 Learn to make five cocktails
20 Organize photo collection
21 Make myself a time capsule
22 Write on 20 creative writing prompts.
23 Make and decorate a gingerbread house
24Take a picture for each letter of the alphabet
25 Repaint my room
26 Go to the botanical gardens
27 Read a book by Jane Austen
28 Finish a painting
29 Paint a canvas and hang it on my wall
30 Spend an entire day watching films
31 Save $1 for each completed task
32 Watch all three Lord of the Rings films in one day
33 Learn the basics of photography
34 Make homemade ice cream
35 Get to my goal weight and maintain
36 Make a three course meal for my family
37 Take a family vacation
38 Make homemade donuts
39 Visit a real haunted house
40 Buy a new camera
41 Participate in NaBloPoMo
42 Make something with my sewing machine
43 Make Skittles infused vodka
44 Watch an entire season of a television show in a weekend
45 Sell something on eBay or Craigslist
46 Cook my way through a cookbook
47 Learn to eat with chopsticks
48 Do the mentos and diet coke experiment
49 Give a handmade gift
50 Get a digital SLR camera
51 Take a photo of the same place every month for year and then turn it into a calendar for the next year
52 Make a sock monkey
53 Make homemade jam
54 Complete a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle
55 Ask 5 friends to suggest one book, and read them all
56 Learn to play the guitar
57 Have a Harry Potter movie marathon party
58 Listen to every CD I own
59 Learn to fold an origami crane
60 Write a book
61 Write a children’s story
62 Toast marshmallows on a fire
63 Learn how to make creme brulee
64 Buy a canvas and paint a piece of artwork
65 Start a new family tradition
66 Start a family Christmas tradition
67 Go to bed before 11pm every night for a month
68 Complete a Sudoku book
69 Eat fish and chips on the beach
70 Have a Star Wars marathon
71 Complete a knitting project
72 Watch the IMDb top 100 films
73 Keep a journal for this Day Zero Project
74 Learn how to play poker
75 Learn how to knit or crochet
76 Get a new cell phone
77 Back up all digital photos
78 Make a pizza from scratch
79 Write a love letter to my husband
80 Have a weekend away with my husband
81 Visit Stonehenge UK
82 Watch two movies at a cinema in the same day
83 Take a photo of a place through all four seasons
84 Make a Year in Pictures album
85 Unfriend non friends on Facebook
86 Write down every dream I have for a week.
87 Make fudge
88 Lose 40 pounds
89 Complete a colouring book
90 Make red velvet cupcakes
91 Open a cookbook to a random page and make whatever comes up
92 Host a holiday dinner
93 Surprise my mom with flowers
94 Play a new board game
95 Spend a whole day reading
96 Paint every nail a different color and leave them be for a week.
97 Try a new flavor of ice cream
98 Watch all the Indiana Jones movies
99 Buy flowers for myself for no reason
100 Learn to crochet
101 Watch every movie on VHS that I own
If you’ve got your own Day Zero list, I’d love to see it. Feel free to leave your link in the comments section 🙂

Feeling pretty foolish!

And I can’t believe I’m actually sharing this but here goes….

I stumbled upon The Muppet’s website while browsing BlogHer and was watching the video about the ‘Mahna Mahna’ song.
We have an old Muppet Show on VHS and the kids watch it occasionally. It must be about 20 years old and The ‘Mahna Mahna’ song is on there.

Ella loves it, especially the little pink Muppet’s (not sure what they are…pigs, bulls… Who knows? Actually, Wiki knows!) and you will never guess the thought that went through my mind when I saw the pink Muppet’s again………..

Wow, they’ve not changed a bit!

Obviously my next thought was one of embarrassment as my brain clicked into gear and made me realise that they’re puppets…. and they don’t age!


Enough said….
Wanders off to have a serious talk with self.

Christmas Cake recipe

I made 3 fruit cakes on Sunday; one was a birthday cake for Granddad and the other 2 were Christmas cakes for Aiden’s scouts Christmas fair and the girl’s school Christmas fair.
I found this Quick and Easy Fruit Cake recipe and it’s the one that people seem to like the most out of the few recipes I’ve tried so we’re sticking with this one from now on 🙂


120g/4oz Margarine
170g/6oz Sugar
340g/14oz Dried Fruit – I buy the mixed fruit bags as it works out cheaper. We also add a full tub of cherries because Ant likes whole cherries and lots of them in a fruit cake!
225ml/8floz Water
1 teaspoon Bicarbonate of Soda
1 half teaspoon Mixed Spice
2 Beaten Eggs
120g/4oz Plain Flour
120g/4oz Self Raising Flour
Pinch of Salt

You will need a 7″/18ch square cake tin or a 8″/20cm round cake tin. The ones with the removable bottoms are easiest.
Coat the inside of the tin with margarine then line with 2 layers of greaseproof paper.


Pre-heat the oven to 350°F/180°C/Gas Mark 4

Ok, if all your prep work is done, we’ll make a start 🙂

Put the margarine, sugar, fruit, water, bicarb and mixed spice in a saucepan and heat gently. Bring to the boil then simmer for one minute.

Pour the batter into a mixing bowl and allow to cool. Make sure it’s cool before you add the eggs….we don’t want them cooking in the batter.
Once you’ve mixed the eggs into the batter, add the flour and salt and mix well.

Pour into your tin and cover the top of the cake with another piece of greaseproof paper. This helps stop the top from burning.

Cook in the middle of the oven for about an hour and a quarter. Check it’s cooked through by inserting a skewer into the middle of the cake. If it comes out clean, your cake is ready.

Allow to cool on a wire rack before covering with marzipan and icing.

I’ve used a Christmas cake frill from the supplies my Nan-nan gave me when she gave up cake making. I’ve recently seen them on sale in either Tesco or Asda, or perhaps both (I’ve been doing lots of browsing on both stores what with Christmas coming up and I’m starting to get confused as to which shop has the items I need!) and the price is quite good.

I bought the centre decoration from Asda. It came with ribbon but I wanted an old-fashioned frill! These kind of frills were always on Christmas cakes when I was younger 🙂
If you need some decorating inspiration, I have a couple of ideas on my Christmas Pinterest board.

I’m linking my post up to Festive Friday over at Thinly Spread.

6th Weigh in

For the full story about my weight loss journey, please read….Okay, so it’s not a tumor.

Another week, another 2lb loss 🙂
This brings my total loss to 15lb. I’ve lost my first stone 🙂

I’m really happy this morning and still confident that this is a life style change and not a diet.
If there’s one thing I’m not happy about, it’s not being able to get in as much exercise I did the last time I tried to lose weight.
I walked the girls to school every morning and picked them up in the afternoon. On my way home from dropping them off in the morning, I’d time myself and try to get home faster and faster every day to improve on the previous time.

I keep wondering how much faster this weight would come off if I could do that again but the hernia makes me worried about walking so far and my heel is still very painful. I don’t want to make that worse because I don’t think I could stand it hurting more. I have to stop myself from crying sometimes when it gets really bad.
I’m hoping that as the weight comes off, I’ll be able to get more active. I need to speak to my doctor about the kind of exercises I can do safely that won’t put my hernia at risk.

My weight last week 28 stone, 8lb (400lb)
My weight this week is 28 stone, 6lb (398lb)

My loss this week is 2lb :o)

Total loss is 1 stone 1lb


Tell me about yourself…..

Melksham mum and MamaJ gave me the following award :o)

and all I have to do in return is tell, well everyone, 7 secret things about me :os

I’ve been working on this post for ages and haven’t been able to publish until now because I haven’t been able to think about 7 things people don’t know about me!

It’s been a struggle but I think I’m finally there, although I’ll bet none of this is really any news to anyone!

1) I have a weird toe on my left foot. The big toe and third toe are the same height and the second toe is smaller. It looks like the second and third toe have swapped places!
2) I love Baileys in my coffee and hot chocolate and sometimes have it in every drink I have during the day, no matter what time it is.
3) I sometimes feel guilty for putting a splash of Baileys in my morning coffee, even though I only have about a capful so the alcohol content is tiny. It’s the taste I love.
I’ve run out of it at the moment though so I’m really looking forward to Christmas….it wouldn’t be Christmas without Baileys!
4) I can’t stop getting new books, even though my ‘to read’ pile is huge and I don’t think I’ll ever get through them all….well I won’t if I keep getting new ones I just love books so much I can’t help myself.
I usually get some money for Christmas and for the last 3 years, I’ve always spent it on books from Asda when they have a huge selection for £1 each in the sales. I still have some I bought last year that I haven’t read yet!
5) I hate washing my hair. I love how it feels when it’s been done but I really don’t like having to do it. It also takes soooo long to dry and I’m not a fan of hairdryers either. My hair is so thick it can sometimes take the whole day to dry properly.
6) Talking of hair. I haven’t been to a hairdressers since before Aiden was born (he’ll be twelve in April) because I don’t like hair dressers either!
I have long hair which is always tied back so I see little point spending money on a hairdresser when I can just cut a bit off when it starts getting too long and annoying me. I tip my head forward, gather my hair together and twist it; put a hair bobble in where I plan to cut then cut straight across. I saw a tv hairdresser do it once and he said it’s a quick way to give instant layers and ever since then, I did it myself!
7) Everyone who knows me knows the next one but for those who don’t, I met my husband in an MSN parenting group. We met in 2003, got married in 2005, had KayCee the same year then Ella in 2007. We’re both still very much in love and I thank fate or whatever it was that made me join that particular group out of the numerous parenting groups there were to choose from 🙂

I’m having trouble coming up with other bloggers who haven’t already been tagged and I’m using the list I used from another post like this one! Here are my five and my apologies if you’ve been tagged already 🙂

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