30 November 2011

Supporting local businesses!

I always like to support independant and local businesses, so when I needed some new jeans this week I headed to a local boutique that I knew would satisfy my needs.

I wasn't wrong, I picked up a gorgeous pair of skinny jeans and top that look and fit brilliantly.

Where is this place you may ask and can I buy on-line, well it is in Hockley, Nottingham and yes you can shop online at Pink & Lilly.co.uk

Caroline the lady who owns it is lovely and helped me pick out pieces to try on, this is something you don't get in a huge department store as standard.

As the owner of a small family run business I am all to aware of how difficult it is at the moment and I feel it is this attention to detail that sets small businesses apart from the high street giants.

Yes sometimes it costs more, but for good quality and good fitting items that I want to wear they are prices I am prepared to pay.

If you can please support small and independent local or online businesses this Christmas, so they may continue to thrive and someone's hard work and passion isn't wasted.

If you have a second then please check out this list that the lovely Karen over at All About the Boys has started, it contains many brilliant independent retailers who would be so grateful of your business this Christmas.

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29 November 2011

BBC Good Food Show with Belling UK

I was lucky enough to go to the BBC Good Food Show Winter with Belling UK on Sunday, it was the first time I had been and I had a great time.

I didn't get to see many of the stands because I had a pushchair, and it was just a bit too difficult on my own to try and get past so many people waiting to test the samples.

I did however get to visit the stands I wanted too and buy a few bits of yummy deliciousness (keep an eye out for a follow up post on these).

The show is split out into several area's. Produce, from drinks to jams, fudge and cheeses are in one section. Drinks are in another section and then you have all of the product stands in the other section.

I first visited the Belling Stand, staring back at me in all of it's pink glory was this fabulous range cooker! I have to admit if I had the room I would love on of these, I am not normally a girly girl but this is just so divine.

On the other side of the stand was the Facebook cooker, pretty sure it's obvious what this is but if not it is a cooker with lots of little Facebook profile pictures on it.



I missed the first few minutes of the morning session with Brian Turner so went over to the Magimix stand to watch the lovely Holly Bell of Recipes of a Normal Mum (you may recognise her from The Great British Bake Off).


She made some Christmas Scones which I shall definitely be making, so watch out for a post on these some time before Christmas. Plus I learnt some useful tips and probably the reason my scones normally don't look brilliant ;)

After spotting a couple of other faces from The Great British Bake off, I went off in search of a bag to put my bits in and got a couple of magazines too.

A quick trip to the Parent Room (which was a saviour, please keep for next year), brilliantly laid out with toys, free nappies, high chairs and an area to feed quietly in.

After walking around bagging a few more bargains and some lunch, I went back to the belling stand to see the brilliant Brian Turner doing his thing.



He cooked up some fabulous dishes in a Ready Steady Cook style, I can't tell you exactly what he made or point you to any recipes. But what he cooked did sound yummy!

Finally and here is the good bit (well I say good, I guess it depends on whether you like free stuff). I did manage to get a handful of freebies. Including a Tweet Pie Recipe Book (worth £4,99), which were being sold by the brilliant Food Cycle guys on the Belling stand, a copy of the show magazine with some fab recipes in it. Some samples from the Bonne Maman stand and Lizi's Granola as well as some other discount coupons, a pen and some other random bits of um....useful stuff!

All you need to do is fill in the form below and I will pick a winner using random.org on the 6th December at 8pm.

The competition has now closed and the winner has been informed, thank you to all those that entered  :)

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26 November 2011

Silent Sunday

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What would happen if...

Shortly after my son was born my husband was taken into hospital with two slipped discs, he had to have them removed and was then unable to do anything for 3 months!

As I replaced the empty shower gel this morning and got my daughters breakfast ready I wondered what state of disrepair this house would fall into if the same thing happened to me?

We had no time to plan for him being ill, the Thursday we were told he needed to go into hospital on the Saturday he had the operation.

It is always me who notices things are running out and either gets them or tells my husband to get them, me who does the shopping, me who makes my daughters meals, me who does the majority of the cleaning and ironing, so what happens if I suddenly can't do those things!

I can't even begin to imagine, oh gosh can you just imagine the children! I am pretty sure they would be wearing the most hideous of outfits, we would have no loo roll and dinner would be the same two things on rotation!

Mmm maybe I should give my husband the benefit of the doubt, oh wait, I have been with him for nearly 9 years and still he fills the bin up to the point he is balancing things like a game of Jenga just like when I first met him!
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25 November 2011

Favourite Recipe Friday - Christmas Gammon

Following on with the Christmas theme, this week we have a recipe which I am afraid isn't your normal recipe.

It came from a farmers wife who cooks it for her family at Christmas and it is a dab of this a measure of that etc, so I apologise in advance for the lack of measurements. But for me that is where the fun of cooking is!

Ingredients:

Gammon Joint (whatever size you require, more is better as that means left overs for pies and lunches)
Borage Honey (a heather honey or something similar would be fine)
Orange Juice
Salt

Method:

1. Wipe the gammon dry and place in baking tray.


2. Coat with a layer of the honey making sure it covers all of the skin.

3. Pour over some orange juice so it coats the gammon and sprinkle with salt.



4. Pour water into the tray - about 2cm deep around the meat.

5. Cover with foil and seal over the tray sides.

6. Roast at 150/160c for approx 1hr per kg.

7. Baste with juices from time to time.

8. Cook to 75c or until the juices run clear.
9. I take the tin foil off for the last ten minutes and use the liquid to make a gravy if you fancy having it as a roast dinner.



Perfect for a roast dinner or as a sandwich filler warm or cold.

I normally cook this for boxing day with left over turkey, pickles, pork pie and cheeses. There is normally enough left for sandwiches and for a turkey and ham pie. Will do a recipe with this after Christmas me thinks :)




Favourite Recipe Friday
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23 November 2011

Things to do with the children!

We have all been full of cold this last week and it hasn't exactly be great weather so we have been doing a lot of indoor activities.

I thought I would share a few and if you have any posts with your ideas or favourite things to do then please feel free to leave a comment with your link.

On Saturday we made gingerbread men, you may have seen my Silent Sunday well this was the outcome. The ones with the smartie eyes all went first though I am afraid, the recipe was a simple one from my trusty, battered and well used Be-ro book!


I am not a fan of gingerbread so we made some fairy cakes yesterday, again a simple victoria sponge recipe from the Be-ro book and then we added some lemon flavoured glacé icing and some vanilla buttercream I had left over. These are great for the kids as they can help to make the cake mix, set out the cases and then decorate them.

Ready for icing

Can you tell which one I did? Just practising my piping skills!


Next we have been up the garden this afternoon to collect some leaves, we are just waiting for them to dry off a bit and then will either paint them and do some printing or just stick straight onto a sheet of paper for an autumnal picture.


This time last year we made some Christmas cards for family, we traced my sons hand round some felt and then cut out and made into pictures of Santa or Robins using the hand as the beard or body. You could use paint but at the time I was heavily pregnant and couldn't be bothered with the mess!


I will probably do something similar this year but not sure what yet :)
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22 November 2011

Tune on Tuesday!

Not only is this song from one of the best films of all time but the words are beautiful and I love it so much.

Thank you to Huey Morgan for playing it on the radio the other week and reigniting my love for this song, I really love BBC Radio 6, the presenters are simply magnificent!

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21 November 2011

I won't be in work today...oh hang on!

So today I feel pretty rubbish, I have had a cold for weeks now but that together with the lack of sleep and rest has caught up with me and I feel shite!

Anyone know who I phone about this? Oh yeah, that's right there is no chance of getting the day off from being a mum when you are sick! It's not possible to just curl up on the sofa and watch Jezza!


To top it off I am still breast feeding so the chance of any hardcore drugs to try and stop the aching, streaming nose, headache and general feeling of crap is none existant!

So here I am writing on my blog, I don't expect any sympathy but at least I got to tell someone about it! For some reason a three year old and 10 month old don't really care about how I'm feeling!
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19 November 2011

Silent Sunday

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Beautiful Baubles

So after a few years of going for a red and gold themed Christmas tree we decided that we would go eclectic instead! No bauble on our tree was to be the same and I scoured the shops looking for the most beautiful or tacky baubles possible!

Something that would make us laugh when we put them on the tree, we also had a few that would make us go awwww. Like our sons first christmas 2008 bauble :'o)

I have got my daughter the same bauble for this year (well pink with 2011 on) so that we can reminisce over them in years to come.

Last year we bought this beautiful one back from Disneyland Paris, its special because we managed to get it back in our suitcase on the train without breaking it!


Anyway, I thought I would look for a few extra's this year, I really like this one from John Lewis

and these, also from John Lewis

I have also seen a few from some lovely crafters that are not only lovely but very reasonably priced, these are from Precious Parcels



Finally, this is a garden centre staple I think and I have seen Gisella Graham everywhere, it is really good stuff though and I think one of our best ones is by her! I particularly like this one...

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18 November 2011

Favourite Recipe Friday - Quick-mix Chocolate Fudge

I had written a brilliant recipe yesterday but it seemed blogger was having a bad day too and didn't save it.

Good news for you though as it got me thinking about another recipe I could use and I'm going with a Christmas theme until Christmas, so yay!

This recipe is one I found in a Good Food magazine a few years ago and it has been my favourite for making for friends ever since.

Also makes a great treat for visitors and to give as a gift, wrapped up in a pretty box or bag.

Ingredients:

350g/ 12oz caster sugar
170g can evaporated milk
140g/ 5oz butter, cut into large cubes
100g/ 4oz white marshmallows
175g/ 6oz plain chocolate, broken into small pieces
1 tsp vanilla extract
25g/1oz pistachios (you can leave these out if giving to children or people who don't like nuts or alternatively add some sour dried cherries)

Method

1. Line the base and sides of an 18cm square cake tin with baking paper. Put the sugar, evaporated milk, butter and marshmallows in a medium saucepan. Warm on a low heat, stirring once or twice, until everything has melted together and you have no grainy sugar left. Increase the heat and boil for 9 mins, STIRRING CONSTANTLY, until thick and a toasty brown colour. Remove from the heat.

2. Add the chocolate and vanilla extract to the pan and stir with a wooden spoon for 1-2 mins until the chocolate has melted and the mixture begins to thicken. Stir through the pistachios, if you like.

3. Working quickly, spread the mixture into the prepared tin. Chill for at least 4 hours or overnight until set. Cut into squares to serve.

Will keep in an airtight container for up to a month.

I gave this to someone who doesn't normally like fudge and he loved it!

It really is so quick and simple and like normal fudge recipes doesn't require a thermometer. I make a batch up just before Christmas eve to give to any guests that pop over as a treat or for hubby to take to work.

Favourite Recipe Friday
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17 November 2011

Oh what a night, pass the match sticks please!

So I am super sleepy today, my son was up at about 11.30pm last night complaining his ear hurt and then his arm and leg! Not really sure what has happening but he just kept crying whenever me or my husband left the room so I slept on the floor next to his bed!

My son decided to join me on the floor, firstly he wanted the blanket I had! Then that he wanted my pillow and not the one he had and just kept finding reasons to wake me up. Bless him **she says through clenched teeth**!


He isn't usually like this and sleeps like a log so I knew something must be wrong and couldn't be to annoyed at him.


I was eventually woken to the sound of my daughter crying at 2.30am, at 6.30am my alarm goes off and it's time to start the day again.

My son wakes as bright eyed and bushy tailed as always, as if he has slept through the whole night! Grrrrr, I on the other hand feel like the living dead and have to get us all up and out of the house to nursery for 9am!


I used to go out on a work night and not get in till gone 2am and felt better than this with a ranging hangover and the prospect of work for eight and a half hours!

I am at work tomorrow afternoon again so I hope everyone has a better night tonight otherwise I am braving the cold and sleeping in the shed!


Just got a phone call to make and tomorrow's Favourite Recipe Friday to write up and then I think I am going to try and get an hours sleep....then again i'll probably just end up tidying
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16 November 2011

Our first and newest Christmas Tradition...

Well technically it's not a tradition yet, but I intend for it to be. I have pinched this idea from the lovely Karen over at All About the Boys recent blog post, I was looking for a tradition to start and it sounded perfect. Not only as it is a nice tradition, but it means the photos on Christmas Day might also look nice for once!

So what is it I here you ask.....new pyjamas on Christmas eve is what! We will have a bath, put them on (kids PJ's will be wrapped up and secretly put on their bed) and then sit and watch a Christmas film before bed! Sounds like bliss doesn't it!

My son has recently become a bit choosy about his PJs and will refuse to wear certain sets, instead opting for a pair that are too small or missing buttons (that have long since gone).

So I just hope he likes the pair I choose and will wear them! Maybe if I tell him Santa has sent them he might wear them!

Anyway, I have been looking and so far I am loving this all in one from Marks and Spencer! It is devine and I think my son would look so cute in it!



For my daughter, I really love this romper from Mamas and Papas, it is sooo beautiful and just how I imagine Christmas PJs to be.


I don't think at 5'10 this will fit me but if it does I am wearing this, how I have longed to wear a romper! They look so comfortable, this one is from Marks and Spencer in case you too are desperate to relive being a baby ;)


And for the hubby, who normally appears on pictures topless (not really a good look for showing the relatives) I am thinking this simple shorts and t-shirt set from Marks and Spencer will look good. If he doesn't like them at least I got to ogle at the model in them ;)


I have chosen these shops to buy from as we currently have gift vouchers for them, however if anyone has any small or independent shops they can recommend for nightwear I would love to hear about them.
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15 November 2011

Get the vintage look!

I am loving the vintage look at the moment, although my house hasn't the room for what we already own I am hoping to squeeze a few pieces of pretty vintage stuff into it at some point!

I follow a blog called The White Approach and to say the stuff on there is amazing is an understatement, Karen the owner of both The White Approach and All About the Boys has the most amazing eye for pieces that would otherwise just get overlooked!

And the best thing is you can buy some of these fabulous items as she has an Etsy store, if you are looking for something gorgeous and vintage this Christmas then it is definitely worth a look!

I only wish she were closer, I am thinking of having a vintage tea party for my *coughs* 30th next year and as well as running two beautiful stores (and looking after a family) she hires out vintage tea party sets too.

So gorgeous and makes me want a nice cuppa!

The most exquisite and divine pieces I think I have ever seen. If you are in the Devon area (as I wish I was, sobs into a non cream tea) and are thinking of having a vintage tea party for your birthday, wedding or just because it sounds like a wonderful idea then please do check her out. The prices are very reasonable and she is a lovely lady too.

I have spotted one thing I think I may have to purchase to go on our newly decorated wall in the dining room but don't tell hubby!

I just love the personalised print and frame!

I love the passion Karen has for her work and if I had the money I would pay for her to come and fill my house with vintage gorgeousness!
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14 November 2011

I need a place to scream!

Today is one of those days where I just want to scream, I just want to stand and scream utter crap until my lungs hurt and then just have a good cry!

But with two children and a husband around it's pretty impossible, maybe I will go out in the car and put on some loud pissed off music and shout as loud as I can.

But then again where would I put the kids and the husband?!?

Maybe I have just invented something, a sound proof room stressed mums can go and shout, cry and generally moan without anyone looking at them as if they just went mad!

Anyone interested in such a place? In the mean time, here is a song that describes exactly how I feel!

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13 November 2011

Not so Silent Sunday

Today is my not so silent Sunday, not because I'm ranting or shouting about anything, but my photos don't fit the criteria.

It does however fit in with what today is, Remembrance Sunday.



My great grandfather was killed in the Somme on 12th July 1916, my grandad was born in September 1914, we don't know if he ever got to meet him or not!

So cruelly taken away from his wife and their four children he has no known grave. His name appears on the wall of Thiepval Memorial, a memorial to soldiers missing in action.


Those whose bodies could not be identified either because there was no body to identify or because the wooden dog tags of the time hadn't survived!

As gruesome as it sounds I always try to believe things happen for a reason, after all had he not been killed they might not have moved to the house they did and my grandad might not of met my gran!

Thiepval is a very quiet and reflective place. The memorial looks like a huge building when you stand back, but when you get up close the scale of loss becomes obvious!


Name after name line the stones, nothing can compensate for the pain and suffering both those men and their families went through!


I feel sad my grandad never got to go to Thiepval and I was determined I would, to pay my respects to those who will never have their own grave and who never got to see their loved ones again.

Thank you to those who gave their lives so we might have ours and thank you to those that continue to do so at home and abroad!
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11 November 2011

Favourite Recipe Friday - Chicken, Leek and Bacon Bake

I have decided to post my favourite recipe every Friday in a section called Favourite Recipe Friday.

Today is one of my new favourites, it is perfect for winter and is so simple. It takes virtually no time at all and could be turned into a vegetarian dish quite simply. It was originally a recipe from Good to Know but I have adapted it a little to fit the tastes of my family.

Chicken, Bacon and Leek Bake - Serves 4

Ingredients:
  • 1tbsp oil
  • 4 chicken breasts, diced (could use potato, pasta or veg instead of chicken)
  • 2 leeks, washed and sliced
  • 4 slices of bacon (leave out if vegetarian)
  • 25g butter
  • 2tbsp plain flour
  • 300ml milk (I use full fat but you could use semi-skimmed for less calories)
  • 125g Cheddar cheese, grated
Method:
  1. Heat the oil in a large, non-stick frying pan and fry the chicken for 5 minutes. Add the leeks and bacon and fry, covered for 10-15 minutes (until the chicken is cooked through).
  2. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small saucepan and stir in the flour. Cook for 1 minute . Take off the heat and gradually whisk in the milk, bring to the boil until thickened, keep stirring (I use a wonder whisk if you haven't seen these they are great). Season with a little salt and pepper and add half the cheese, stir until melted.
  3. Place the chicken in a heatproof serving dish and pour over the cheese sauce. Sprinkle over the remaining cheese and place under a preheated grill for 2-3 mins until golden and bubbling.
  4. The great thing about this dish is that it can be kept in the oven for 5 minutes whilst you set the table and get the children ready. You can then take the dish to the table and serve straight from the dish.
Serve with a salad or as I usually do some roast potatoes and veg.

Favourite Recipe Friday
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10 November 2011

Dear Ikea...

I visited your Nottingham store last week and all I can say is well done. Well done on having the worst and most pointless nursing area I have ever sat in!

Some ladies are shy about feeding or would prefer a quiet area, where their nursing child won't be distracted, this is not one of those.

I was adjusting myself to get up and leave when someone came over and asked if anyone was sitting at the table next to the nursing area, that's how open it was!

Now I used the area back in February before they changed the lay out and it was comfy, enclosed and quiet, they have recently made the children's area better but in doing so have changed this area for the worse!

The chairs are low backed and not particularly comfortable for feeding in and the chair opposite me had no privacy whatsoever!

I am so disappointed by the change, this was always something I admired about Ikea! I don't think I am being overcritical and if you have visited this store recently I would love to hear your thoughts.

Below are some pictures that show exactly how poorly thought out the area is...

View from my chair!

Not particularly comfy chairs, i'm afraid and this one has no privacy whatsoever!
Completely open to people looking in :(
View up from the chair, anyone can just come over and look in!











I emailed Ikea customer services yesterday, if I get a reply I will let you know what their thoughts are.
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9 November 2011

I love my Nespresso machine!

We have had our Nespresso machine for a while now and I can 100% hand on heart say it is the most used item (next to the vacuum) in our house.



Well I guess technically the fridge/freezer is but you know what I mean.

It makes the perfect cup of coffee every time and you can have a different coffee every day.

If you aren't into the caffeine then you can have decaf and the decaffeination process is natural rather than chemical, which is something I hated when choosing decaf normally. This is from the Nespresso website

"Nespresso uses a natural "water-based" decaffeination process, which is free from chemical additives, this process involves dissolving the caffeine, but without altering the strength and distinction of the coffee's aromas.  Developed to the same high standards of perfection as the other Grand Crus, Nespresso guarantees excellence throughout the production process of the decaffeinated coffees from selecting the finest beans, to blending, roasting and finally packaging the coffee. So when it comes to the coffee in your cup, you can be sure of a genuine espresso with all its character and aromatic richness preserved"

My favourite two coffees at the moment are the Rosabaya De Colombia and Dulsao Do Brasil, although I only have one of these a day, if I have another it is normally a decaf, all of which are yummy.

The best thing about the machine is the ability to make several different sorts of coffee, you can do a lungo (long) so just like a normal coffee, espresso, cappuccino or a latte. There is something to suit every taste. Using the Aeroccino machine you can froth the milk either hot or cold so you can make yourself a hot chocolate or milkshake with it too.

The customer service so far has been brilliant, they even pick up the used capsules and recycle them so it's good for the environment too.

Although you think the coffee will be expensive it works out at no more than 33p a coffee, a lot cheaper than what we were paying when buying coffee for the stove top coffee maker and certainly cheaper than buying from some well known coffee chains (although I still love them but don't tell hubby)!

I need more decaf so have just got to wait for hubby to go to London to buy some from one of the boutiques or until we need enough to order some.
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8 November 2011

My tune on Tuesday!

As I was sat in the car on the way back from a hot chocolate and cake at a local garden centre this song was playing on the radio, meanwhile my son was holding hands with my daughter in the back of the car and both of them were laughing.

Their innocence is so truly beautiful and I love them with all my heart. It amazes me how one simple moment can simply sweep aside all of the rubbishness of a day.

As I mentioned in the post My Love of Music, I love listening to music and songs can be so powerful at creating feelings.

This shall now be my children's song whether they like it or not ;-)


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7 November 2011

Christmas traditions, when families collide!

So me and my husband's families both have different Christmas traditions, for me we just stayed at home the four of us. We got up opened our presents, had breakfast, played with said presents, had lunch around 3pm and then carried on playing with presents or watched Christmas films in the afternoon/evening.

My husband on the other hand opened some presents in the morning, went round to one of his mums friends for nibbles and visited other relatives or friends, home for lunch and then carried on opening presents in the afternoon until his sister had one left and 'won' as the last one to have a present to open! (I kid you not and this still happens today and she is 28)

So when two families come together what do you do, before we moved in together and got married etc we would both stay at our parents and then meet up in the evening. Then when we moved in together we stayed at home or went to one of the parents house.

The first year after having my son, we stayed at home and the following year we had my parents round for lunch, then last year because I was heavily pregnant we went to my in laws but the day was pretty awful to be honest.

We opened our presents to each other, then went over to my family to open presents with them and then about 1pm went to my in laws to open presents and have dinner. We didn't end up eating till gone four and by time we had finished it was time to go home again, the day seemed short and my son didn't get to enjoy any of the presents like I remember doing as a child.

This year my son wants a scooter, I have visions of him going outside with his Daddy after we have had breakfast and playing with his new scooter! Not of us waiting in for family to arrive or traipsing round to them etc etc.

I want it to be like when I was little, mum making dinner and dad with the kids building and playing with toys whilst watching Home Alone or Toy Story!

So what are your traditions, did you have to compromise or did you make your own that resembled nothing you grew up with?

My mum has invited us over to them but it means one of us can't drink and we will either have to leave all of our toys at home or traipse them over to my parents house. She seemed most upset when I eventually declined but surely she can understand as we never went anywhere at Christmas!?!

It is so hard to try and arrange something that doesn't upset one set of parents or the other, really all I want to do is make me and my little family happy and stuff the rest but as a person with a conscience I cannot do this without feeling bad.
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5 November 2011

Silent Sunday

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The dreaded social event of a parent!

Today we have one of those dreaded social events that can strike fear into the most hardened of people. A children's party!

Why must I be put through these things? Why must I go? Can't I just stay at home? I know, I know, I sound like a grumpy teenager, but with good reason.

I have met some of the other people going and it is not my idea of a nice few hours (would love to insert juicy gossip here but I won't).

We were never invited to any other events for this child (1st birthday, christening), so why now? Need to make up numbers probably!

Honestly, these things are just a way to view other peoples parenting skills, wealth and general status among the group!

My son is old enough for a proper party next year and besides kids from nursery I'm not inviting anyone I don't really know because they have kids vaguely the same age as mine!

Mmmm this all sounds very grumpy and anti-social but I really can't cope with this crap!

Have good Saturday's everyone ;)
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4 November 2011

For one day only!

Well today I am at work, for one day only until I am back properly in January they get the joy of me bleating on like a housebound mad woman!

Gone will be the baby talk and instead I get to put my old independent and rude woman hat on for a few hours, not sure I have a desk so I may just end up being an overpaid tea girl.

I am looking forward to it but at the same time I am really nervous, it is one step closer to having to go back to work which i'm not really looking forward too. I love spending time with my daughter and she is so little I can't imagine leaving her. It was hard enough with my son and to go through it again is just mean!

Anyway, I have decided that I will just make the most of my "day off" from being a mummy and put on a pencil skirt and some high heels instead.

This is my first 'keep in touch day' since I left for maternity leave back in January, I just hope I can get the cogs working as I am pretty sure I have lost a few braincells in the vacuum or washing machine since then ;)

And just to help me even more the chuffing smoke alarm decided it needed new batteries at 4am this morning.....bugger, anyone got any matchsticks!
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3 November 2011

Depression, a family affair!

So I woudn't normally write two blog posts in a day, afterall i'm a busy lady right, but I really needed to get this out of my head and into words, I am sorry if it goes on and if you manage to read all of it thank you.

I have suffered with depression for many years, probably since I was about 11, the exact moment was when I went to secondary school. I was put into a form with none of my friends, I was lonely and a target for the class bullies.

I started not eating and when I did eat I ate very little, then at about 13 I found that cutting myself gave me a sense of joy. From the outside it all sounds very silly and if you haven't ever done it you really cannot understand the feeling you get from seeing your wrists cut and the pain from cutting them.

I remember once finding a bit of long grass stuff that was quite sharp and I whipped it joyfully across my arms till they were covered in little two or three inch cuts, so many that people noticed and I had to be more careful but it was a great feeling at the time.

Anyway to cut a long story short, I spent the rest of my teenage years cutting and scratching myself in times of upset (which sadly there were a lot of).

At about 15 I fell 'in love' and had a steady boyfriend but towards the end of relationship when we grew apart and he started going out with other women behind my back I started hitting myself in the head. Don't ask why but I would just hit myself in the head, maybe hoping I would kill myself I don't really know!

I did this up until I found the miracle contraceptive pill that changed me, I became chilled and pretty much anger free until after I had my son.

I was diagnosed with post natal depression about four months after my son was born, after a traumatic birth and a very ill husband I had pretty much had enough and would think about how I would end it all (apparently the way in which I would do it is normally a man's way out, thanks I think) . However, I knew my son needed me and I decided to get help and was put on anti-depressants and saw a community support nurse every other week.

So why all the sudden am I thinking about this, well I went to see my mum today and she said she thinks she's depressed. This makes me so sad, so sad I am sat here with tears streaming down my face, I love her and know how it feels to be stuck in the despair of depression and I don't want her to feel this way.

My dad also suffers with depression (which I found out shortly after I had been put on antidepressants after having my son), yet he doesn't seem to have noticed she seems down and this makes me so flipping sad.

I had my husband to confide in and although he really didn't seem to understand at least I could cry at him and get all the crap filling my head out into the open.

Gosh I hate this illness, I mean I really hate it! The mind is such a complicated thing and I really hope my children don't suffer from it, my grandpa on my dads side was 'commited' but whether it is nature or nurture I have no idea.

All I can do is be there for my children and help them if they need me, sadly my parents although lovely and I'd do anything for them, they literally had no idea how to help me through depression. I once stood in the kitchen so angry at being bullied that I grabbed a knife and held it to my wrist in in a fit of anger. My dad said 'go on then do it' , this takes tough love to the extreme and I hope he can be more use to my mum and I to my children.

Thanks if you made it this far, I just needed somewhere to vent this.
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My vacuuming obsession!

So you may have seen my post the other month that mentioned my obsession with vacuuming, I'm not OCD yet but on average I vacuum at least twice a day, on Saturday I think I may have vacuumed four times.

I mean there is nothing worse than having bits of half chewed food or crumbs stuck to your ruddy sock, or having bits of cheese trodden around the rest of the house.

My son has a habit of eating his food with so much gusto I find bits on the other side of the room and with a nine month old who has just found the joys of crawling I can never be too careful that she doesn't find a rogue raisin or cheerio!

Please someone tell me I'm not the only person who does this!!!!!!!!!!

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2 November 2011

My not so heavy baby!

So my poor old neck and back would tell a different story but after taking my daughter to the health visitor yesterday it would seem she isn't putting on much weight.

She had been trundling along between the 25-50th percentile since birth but is now below the 9th :(

Barely a pound in the last nine weeks, she is quite active and has had the chicken pox (well possibly) and has had three teeth pop through in quick succession so eating food hasn't been top of her list of 'things to do'.

I have been told to keep a food diary and try and get as much into her as possible over the next week!

She seems to hate anything remotely savoury and only wants sweet things, I can't remember how my son was but maybe I just have really sweet milk this time round and so that's what she likes?

We have had a slightly more successful day today and I have had my son helping me feed her with the spoon, which she quite seems to like but still only with sweeter foods.

Not really sure what to do, I think with my son I followed the Annabel Karmel book to the letter, but have been a bit more lax thinking I know what i'm doing, maybe I should have stuck with what worked.

I have also tried letting her feed herself the BLW way but she seems to get only tiny bits in her mouth!

Oh well, we'll keep trying! Every baby is different after all!
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1 November 2011

So many things, so little time!

I have so many things buzzing around in my head today that I'm not really sure what to right about. Is there something the opposite of writers block?

So here is a list of those things, most of which are stupid and pointless but for some reason they are still swimming around my head.

I feel like I need a good cry but I don't have the time or space to do it!

1. I am going into work on Friday, this has bought home the closeness of going back in January and that my baby is growing up so quick.

2. I keep thinking about the comment my husband made the other day 'what are your jobs around the house'. I feel hurt as I am always trying to keep on top of the cleaning, tidying, washing, ironing, decorating, cooking and general looking after everyone.

3. My daughter won't eat and has dropped down the percentile chart thingy quite a lot.

4. Money is too tight to mention!

5. My sons pre school booster jabs are next week.

6. We have two parties on Saturday!

7. I really have no idea what the people are camping in the Market Square for but know how long Kim Kardashian was married before splitting up.
Taken when I went into town the other day.

8. The toilet keeps blocking as it has done for the last five years and yet is never been fixed. Maybe I should add to my list of things I do around the house.

9. My parents health isn't great, but I don't see them enough for it to be something we properly talk about.

10. Business had been horrendous, we've had the worst month ever and I'm not really sure what to do any more.

11. The fridge saga is still on going, apparently they delivered doors on the 10th. Not here though so we are still waiting!

So I know in the scale of things this is all pretty trivial and I know I could be worse off. But right now I feel I am on the precipice of depression which is a road I do not want to go down again! It cost me so many happy days with my son and both him and my daughter need me.

Right duty calls, lunches to make and washing to put on!
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