Friday, 28 February 2014

Wisdom of the ages #ThePrompt

Seek the wisdom of the ages but look at the world through the eyes of a child.  
Ron Wild

My five year old is so sure of himself.  When he's knocked down, he gets up.  If he doesn't know, he learns.  If he makes a mistake, he knows not to make it again.  If he doesn't like something, whereever he is, he lets us know.  His world is small, and he is sure of the things he knows.

And when he reaches 18 his world will be much bigger and I'm sure, like the rest of us, he will think he knows it all.

18 is such a great age - life stretches ahead, you're invincible.  Everything you do, you body bounces back.  Your mind stays sharp regardless.

But as we age, the things we don't know become more apparent.  All the reasons why .. not just why things are what they are, but why people do what they do.  There never is a right way, or correct answer to life.  You realise, as I have come to, that at 18 you really didn't know anything.

And I wonder if the older generation know more, or just accept that they know even less.  When I'm 65 will I realise I knew nothing in my 30s too?

Is this what wisdom is?  The ability to know that you don't really know anything at all?  Maybe we should all try and capture being five again..

Linking up with mum turned mom for this The Prompt post.


Positive - WotW

My word of the week is:

Back at work - shiny new blog header and graphics - balancing life - nearly spring time - feeling lucky.

Linking up with The Reading Residence for this post.

The Reading Residence

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Saying yes, opening doors #midsblogmeet

Say yes and you open doors to new things.

At least that's what I try and tell myself.  Sometimes saying no and doing the same thing is easy though, isn't it?

But yes, I said yes.  I'd love to go the the Midlands Blog Meet on 22nd Feb.  Husband said of course he'd have the kids all day.  Off I went.  New people and stuff.  Gulp!

Taking a deep breath, I walked in to The Malt Cross in Nottingham, to meet the very lovely Emma (@LivePeachy) and Kelly (@ToBecomeMum) who'd done a fantastic job of organising the event.

There was a room full of smiles, and new people who were all so friendly and welcoming.  My nerves vanished very quickly!

A carefully planned and perfect itinerary for the day included some wonderful competitions, demonstrations from two lovely ladies at The Body Shop, general chit chat and a yummy lunch.

I met some very lovely people, and now have some brilliant new blogs to follow.  It was wonderful to be in a room of people with so much in common.

And we even got a wonderful goody bag, packed with sweets from Swizzels Matlow, Weleda samples, a cookery book from Neff, a chocolate mould from Baked By Me and even a very gorgeous cupcake baked by Emma herself.

Saying yes was absolutely the right thing to do.... thank you Emma and Kelly for organising such a fabulous event.  I'll definitely be back next time!

Shiny new shoes - shiny new blog

Like a lovely new pair of shoes, my blog's got a shiny new header, and I can't stop looking at it!  I hope you like it too.

It was done by the wonderful Ellie Illustrates @EllieAllatSea.  You kind find more examples of her work at her site:

All At Sea Design

Ellie Illustrates took a very dodgy brief from me, and turned it into the wonderful header you can see within a week or two, and which needed no changes at all.  Brilliant!

I'd love to know what you think, or if you're planning to update your blog.  Don't be shy, and please leave a comment.

Monday, 24 February 2014

Maple and cranberry pancake stack

I love pancake day, and try a different topping every year.  Here's something that makes a change to lemon and sugar and is delicious!

Maple and cranberry pancake stack
Makes enough for eight small or four large pancakes, serving 2-4 people

To make the maple and cranberry sauce:
  • 100g cranberries (fresh or frozen is fine)
  •  Zest of half an orange with juice
  •  30g caster sugar
  •  40ml maple syrup
Put all the ingredients together in a small saucepan and bring to the boil.  Once boiling, reduce the heat to a gentle simmer for approx 15 minutes, until the cranberries have mostly burst.  It will smell great!  Transfer sauce to a bowl and set aside to cool and thicken slightly while you make the pancakes.

To make the pancakes:
  • 110g plain flour
  • 2 medium free range eggs
  • 200ml milk mixed with 75ml cold water
  • 50g butter
  • Pinch of salt
Ladle enough batter into a frying pan to make one pancake to a thickness of your liking.  Cook for a few mins, and flip away to cook the other side!

Make either four small pancake layers with a teaspoon of maple and cranberry sauce between each layer, or two large pancakes with a tablespoon of sauce between each layer.  Top with another spoon of maple and cranberry sauce and a squeeze of maple syrup.

I'd love to know what your favourite pancake topping is - traditional, sweet, savoury?  Please leave a comment.

Linking up with A Mummy Too for this post.

Link up your recipe of the week

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Silent Sunday


When do you find time to blog?

I'd love to know when you find time to blog... do you write lots of posts in one go and schedule them? Do you blog from your iPad in front of the TV?

The last few weeks have been so busy for us, I've struggled to find the time to sit down and write.

I seem to think about all the posts I plan to do all day and have loads of ideas. Once the kids are in bed though, I'm usually so knackered I've lost all ability to think straight and never quite manage to get down on paper (screen) everything I wanted to.

How do you fit it all in? I'd love to hear.

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Touch - WotW

This week's word of the week is:


A small hand in mine - a cuddle before goodbye - hand cream - meeting virtual people in real life - small cars being moved around. Touching makes things come to life.

Linking up to The Reading Residence's Word of the Week for this post.

The Reading Residence

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Settling in at nursery

After a lovely, long 13 months off, I return to work next week.

And although our son went to nursery from when he was six months old, I was so nervous about baby girl starting nursery last week. We had a bit of a hiccup on the first day, and learned a few lessons, but so far she's doing really well.

Childcare is such a personal choice, but I'm a big fan of our nursery. It's a great setting for children to learn, grow and catch every bug going before school! Baby girl has so far eaten, rolled around, cuddled, smiled, made loads of noise, eaten everything that's been put in front of her and slept in her new daytime 'home'.

 I know she'll love it even more in time. Phew!

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Happiness is - The Prompt

Happiness is anyone and anything at all, that’s loved by you. 

You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown

It's easy to forget happiness isn't it?  Day to day we work hard, focus on what needs to be done.  And those days where the kids are driving us mad, we pick up washing for the hundredth time, answer yet another email, don't they just drip by?

But sometimes, I try to stop.  Zoom out to see the big picture.  Focus on what's important and what generates happiness.

Remember happiness?  I learn it from my children every day.  Even the days they drive me crazy.  When they''re asleep I look at their innocent faces.  They are my babies again.  And don't we love our children so?  So and so and so and so.

Happiness to me, quite simply, is the two things I love most in life.  And sometimes, doesn't it move us to tears?

This post was inspired by mumturnedmom's The Prompt.  I'm sorry if it's weird, or rubbish.  I've had a right week.


Friday, 14 February 2014

Doubt - WotW

This week's word of the week is:

Ever wondered if what you're doing is the right thing?

Linking up with The Reading Residence for this post.

The Reading Residence

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Win tickets to The Baby Show London with Chicco [now closed]

Chicco is running a great competition on Facebook at the moment.  You can win one of 10 pairs of tickets to The Baby Show at Excel in London from 21st - 23rd February.

I've been to The Baby Show a couple of times, and it's a great day out for anyone who is planning to, expecting, or has, children.  Chicco's showcasing its Urban Travel System and Next2me crib - I know both will make you smile!

Entry to the competition is really simple; 'Like' Chicco on Facebook and hit the competitions tab.  Easy!  Quick though, the competition ends on Sunday 16th February.

I'd love to hear if you're a winner and/or what you're looking forward to seeing most at the show.

Easy delicious slow cooker jacket potatoes

When I say I cook everything in my slow cooker, I mean it!  Slow cooked jacket potatoes are the most delicious jacket potatoes you'll eat.  As with all things slow cooker, they're so simple to do.

I won't call this a recipe, more a 'how to cook jacket potatoes in a slow cooker' guide.  The taste of the potatoes is so buttery and delicious, you'll never microwave them again!

Slow cooker jacket potatoes
Serves two

Two good size jacket potatoes (I like Maris Piper)

Wash and prick your potatoes as normal.  Wrap them in foil and place in your slow cooker.

Cover with your slow cooker lid and cook on low for 7-8 hours, turning them over every now and again if you can.

Take them out of the slow cooker, and, although you can serve them at this point, I much prefer to put them in the oven for 5-10 minutes, just to crispy the skin up.

Tuck in.  Delicious or what?

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Come on kids, park time!

The sun came out today.  It's been raining for what feels like weeks, and we've all been unwell.  But today, the sun came out and we were all feeling better.  Come on kids, let's go to the park!

The kids needed no persuading, so off we set.

Our son loved riding his scooter through all the puddles. 

And was going so fast in the basketball court, my heart missed a beat or two.

Our son loves the massive slide at the park and went up and down it loads of times.

And baby girls loved watching his antics from the warmth and comfort of her buggy.

The fresh air really helped put some colour in baby girl's cheeks which has been very much lacking for a couple of weeks now.

We had loads of fun at the park; it was a good walk to get there and we had bursts of sunshine every now and again.  I heard the birds singing despite our feet squelching in the mud.  Hurry up springtime!

Linking up with Coombe Mill's country kids for this post.

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Thankful - WotW

My word of the week this week is:


I'm so thankful for our wonderful NHS.  For quick, cheap and easy access to pain relieving and antibiotic medicine.  For the fact that although baby girl's been pretty unwell for a couple of weeks now with a variety of different viruses and infections, none are serious.

Linking up with The Reading Residence for this post.

The Reading Residence

Saturday, 1 February 2014

January's been and gone

It's unbelievable to me that we're already into the second month of the year.  Although January's usually a cold grey month, I've enjoyed it this year.  Here's our highlights:

  • Still walking the school run twice a day, everyday.  It lifts all our moods
  • My last full month of maternity leave.  The last year has truly flown by
  • Baby girl putting weight on her feet, and supporting herself when we help her stand
  • Tennis lessons for our son, and a new racket (he took this pic he was so proud of it!)
  • Our son dressed as a monkey for Noah's Ark day at school.  "Ooh ooh, eeh eeh"
  • Sorting out after school club and nursery, feeling like we're all moving to the next chapter
  • Autosport International and meeting a real life rally driver and remote control Land Rovers
  • A positive day in London sorting out working arrangements 
  • School dinners... "What? I get pudding at lunch time?  Wow, yes please!"
  • Booking my ticket to BritMums Live, a whole two days and one night to myself to think about this blog - hooray!
BritMums Live! 2014

I'd love to hear your highlights of the month..