Monday, 30 May 2011

Operation Flat Stanley!!

I began to tell you in my last post about an exciting project that Aidan and I have been invited to participate it and then I left you hanging! Well do you all remember the story of Flat Stanley by Jeff Brown? For those that don't, Stanley Lambchop and his younger brother Arthur are given a big bulletin board by their Dad for displaying pictures and posters. Stanley hangs it on the wall over his bed. During the night the board falls from the wall, flattening Stanley in his sleep. He survives and makes the best of his altered state, and soon he is entering locked rooms by sliding under the door, and playing with his younger brother by being used as a kite and one special advantage is that Flat Stanley can now visit his friends by being mailed in an envelope. A few of us in the group are going to make a flat version of ourselves and our Children! We will then post them, accompanied with a journal to whoever is next in the chain, at the same time we will receive someonelses flat selves! We will then fill in the journal and take some photos of the Flats enjoying some adventures and forward it on to the next in chain. This will continue until we receive Flat Vicky and Flat Aidan back and can read about their adventures from all over the World! I am so excited and already cannot wait to receive the journal back again. I know a few of you work with young Children so I will post the Offical Link to the Flat Stanley Project here in case it could be useful to you as an Educational project

I will let you know when our first Flat Visitor arrives!

Wonderful Mamas

I am lucky enough to be part of a wonderful group of Ladies called the Mover Mamas, we got together originally because of a shared love of the Childrens Band "The Imagination Movers" which Aidan adores. The groups has become so much more and there are now 90 of us from all over the world. We laugh, we cry, we share hints and tips, if I have a query about Aidan I can post the question on the board and can guarantee lots of replys with advice, sympathy or support will follow. Even though I have never 'met' any of them its wonderful knowing they are there. We like to have a little summer project for the Children to participate in over the holidays, and last year we created Christmas Tree ornaments representing each of the programmes episodes. The Movers were overwhelmed by the ornaments and were sweet enough to place them on a tree in the New Orleans Childrens Hospital, here are some photos:

This year we have a very exciting project for the Children to take part in.................................but you will have to wait until my next post to hear about it!

A Relaxing Weekend

Thank you for your comments on yesterdays post, I am glad it made you smile and yes I am very proud of Aidan for doing so well :-)

I have had a lovely relaxing long weekend, I have read, baked, cross stitched, spent time with Family and it was just what was needed before I begin my 1st week of working Full Time in over 2 and a half years, bit daunted by it but I am sure it will be fine when I work out a routine.

The oven is in and working now which is wonderful, and this morning I christened it by baking some Beetroot Cupcakes. They are moist, absolutely delicious and not at all Earthy as I feared.

The recipe is from "Eat Me by Cookie Girl"

3 Large Eggs
2 tbsp Milk
100ml Sunflower oil
110g Caster sugar
100g Plain flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
85g Grated Raw Beetroot
55g Roasted Hazelnuts
1/2 tsp Cinnamon

110g Unsalted Butter
110g Cream Cheese
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
450g Icing sugar (I actaully only used 300g)
I also added a tiny amount of pink food colouring
  • Preheat oven to 170c / Gas 3, line 12 hole muffin tin with paper cases
  • Whisk the yolks and milk together.
  • In a seperate bowl whisk the oil and sugar together and add this to the egg mixture
  • Sift the flour and baking powder to the batter.
  • Add the beetroot, hazelnuts, and cinnamon.
  • In a clean bowl whisk egg whites until they form stiff peaks, gently fold this into the pink batter.
  • Divide the mixture between the paper cases and bake for approx 20 mins, allow to cool on a wire rack when cooked.
  • For the Icing, whisk the butter and cream cheese together. Then add the vanilla extract, pink colouring and add the icing sugar a little at a time until fully combined. Pipe the icing onto the cakes or spread it onto them with a palette knife.
I hope you have all had a relaxing weekend too x x

Sunday, 29 May 2011

An Embarassing funny little story for you!

Oh dear, I have a funny little story for you all today.

We have begun attempting to potty train Aidan and today he decided he wanted to wear some "big boy pants", a pull up to you or I. We went out and were sitting in a restaurant when he told me he would like to do a wee wee, so off we go to the Ladies. I realise his Pull ups are dry still so sit him on the loo and show over the top enthusiasm when he begins to do a wee. Now being a Female of the species I have no experience of controlling mens bits! I realised, far to late, that the wee had been going underneath the toilet seat and had infact gone all over his trousers, socks, boots and the floor!!!!! I am glad though that he appears to be getting the idea, even if I still have no clue!

I hope you have had a chuckle and for those of you with young Sons or Grandsons I hope you remember this valuable lesson should the situation arise in the future ;-)!

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Well ..............................

I should be telling you all how blissfully happy I am with my new oven.
I should be showing you photos of the Beetroot Cupcakes I baked in my new oven.
I should be telling you how lovely and shiny my new oven is.
I should be telling you how pleased I am to have a proper oven after 18 months of only having a mini counter top one.

I shouldn't be having to get an Electrician to fit it as they have changed the law, this was not in my plan! Apparently they recently changed the law and all Electric ovens now need to be fitted by a qualified Electrician, the connectors have changed and are not available to buy in DIY stores.

So I will tell you how nice the Pizza I just ordered was instead!!!

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Cookbooks & Meal planning

For my Birthday I was given a £20 book token and I decided I wanted to get as much for my Money as I possibly could. So with a bit of careful planning and also some offer watching I managed to get 4 cookbooks!
I purchased:
  • Mums Know Best - The Hairy Bikers Family Cookbook
  • One Step Ahead - Mary Berry
  • Home Cooking - Rachel Allen
  • Favourite Food at Home - Rachel Allen
I was quite pleased with my haul, and think I did very well. I do have quite a few Cookbooks now but use them often, I meal plan so am constantly in need of ideas to stop my menus getting stale. I have saved so much money by meal planning as it stops me having to guess on the hop in the supermarket what I might need. It also means I can ensure we have a balanced diet and can suit meals around my schedule for the day, for example if I know I am travelling a lot for work I make sure we have a quick tea like Pasta planned for that day.

I am always on the lookout for a cheap, healthy and quick meal for us and tried "Chunky Mediteranean Pasta soup from Rachel Allens "Favourite Food at Home".

Ingredients: 250g Chorizo, 1 large onion, garlic, tin chopped tomatoes, 900ml chicken stock, 2 tbsps chopped herbs, 250g dried pasta, 150g shredded spinach.

Fry the Chorizo, Onion and Garlic until softened.
Add tomatoes, stock and herbs and simmer for 10 minutes.
Add the pasta and continue to simmer until the Pasta is cooked
When Pasta is read add in the spinach and boil until it has wilted
Ladle into warm bowls and sprinkle with grated cheese.

It was inexpensive to make yet delicious and very quick and simple to make, yummy!

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Special Weekend with special Friends

We have had a lovely Saturday spent in our good friends garden with other families. We are so lucky to have our friend Michelle, she loves to be hostess and has a wonderfully large garden. Our garden is very small and concreted, it doesn't give Aidan the space he needs to run and explore but Michelle has a trampoline and slide and a peddle car that he just adores, he loves to look at the fish in the pond, as he is doing here with our friend Katie and her little one Dylan:

He gets to play rough and tumble with Michelle's son Connor,

And have cuddles with her daughter Chloe.

This week we welcomed Baby Scarla to our little group, she is the Grand Daughter of our friend Jacqui, and was such a good little girl. Here she is asleep on my Jelly Belly!

I think Chris may be broody!

It is great to spend time with lovely Families and I am so pleased that Aidan gets to mix with other nice children, the big ones love him and enjoy taking care of him and the Littler ones watch him and learn. We are so lucky :-)

Friday, 20 May 2011

Meet my new Friends!

I have no idea who they belong to or what their names are, but I fell in love!

Whilst on Holiday we were recommended to visit Daymer Bay, a beautiful, unspoilt beach, not well known and not a tourist trap. We went for a lovely walk along the sands, looking in rock pools and seeing what sea creatures we could find. Whilst walking along I got the distinct feeling we were being followed. I turned round to see this pair of sheepdogs staring at us, exactly as they are in the first picture, it was so comical. I realised that every time I moved my arm they twitched, at first I thought because they were scared, I soon discovered it was because they wanted to play! By chance we had taken a tennis ball with us to play with so Chris threw it along the beach and sure enough they bolted after it and dutifully bought it back. A happy hour passed, no owner called them and they didnt wander away, I can honestly say it was the highlight of my holiday. We can only conclude that they belonged to the owners of the car park and spend their days on the beach playing with anyone and everyone before returning home for some food and a looooooooooooooooooong sleep!

If you are anywhere near, pop by and say Hello for me, I am sure they wouldnt object to a throw or two either!

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Holidays and Headaches!

We had a lovely holiday in Cornwall, the weather stayed beautiful, but we were all poorly. I don't mean a little unwell, I mean full on ILL! Will catch up properly and post some tales and piccys soon. Hope everybody is happy and well x x

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

The Dreaded Phonecall

Well yesterday I received the phonecall I had been dreading but expecting..........
"Can you go Full Time for us?".

I have agreed to Full Time hours, to begin with, between June and September as work are implimenting 3 new systems and I will be required to learn all new systems and then travel across our sites to deliver it to all staff, approximately 1500 - 2000 people!!! Training is a Career I have fallen into quite by chance but now I am here I am enjoying it, I am a people person so it's nice as I get to meet new people daily but also get to build relationships. I often think being a Trainer is so varied, you have to be an instructor, a teacher, a role model, a nurse, a social worker, a counsellor and wear many other hats!

By September they will have probably closed my current base site so then I will be able to decide to take redundancy and be a stay at home Mum or to continue working Full Time from the new site. I do feel quite guilty about returning to Full Time work but I am focussing on the bigger picture and the greater good fro Aidan. There will be a lot of driving for this new role but with that comes VERY generous petrol allowances. This combined with the additional money I will be earning anyway will enable me to pay much more off of our current debts and in fact get me closer to the goal of being at home.

Sunday, 1 May 2011


A late one for me tonight! This afternoon we went to the Silverstone Race circuit, which we are lucky enough to live near to, as we both enjoy watching Formula 1. We got to see the new track layout including new Grandstand and Pits, race control, the podium and lots more. The tour was given by a professional driver who whipped you round the circuit at a fair speed!

Best bit by far, for me anyway, was seeing some lovely cars close up and being able to sit in them. So let me introduce you to my new car, an Aston Martin Vantage

And here is Chris with his new Lamborghini

Well a girl can dream can't she? :-)

Spring Weather

Do you know what makes me happiest in this sunny weather?

Of course I love relaxing with friends in the garden, having BBQs, gentle strolls and lovely family time BUT my most favourite thing is washing! I love how I can put the linen in the wash in the morning, hang it out and by tea time its dry and ready to go back onto the bed. I love climbing into a newly made bed, especially when the linen has been dried outside, it feels so crisp and fresh.
If I could get away with it would wash the bed linen everyday!

So there you go, my dirty (or should that be clean??) little Spring vice!