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Friday, 31 December 2010

A Time to Look Forward

I love the promises that each New Year brings. Its like a blank canvas ready for anything. The future is ready for you to shape it in anyway that you see fit. Anything seems possible on New Years Eve.

But why, on a whole, do we keep this feeling of optimism just for the beginning of a new year? It is a feeling we should be able to harness at anytime of year. We just need to believe.

Which is why I recently got myself inked again to remind me at all times to Believe. Things may get tough and difficult and times but everything can be survived and often we come out stronger at the other side, better for the experience but its believing that we can make it through the tough times that is the most difficult life skill. One that I am only just learning, and I hope it is a lesson I can instill in my children that EVERYTHING is possible. You can do ANYTHING that you put your mind to. The only thing standing in your way is YOURSELF.


What are your plans for this upcoming brand spanking new year? I used to make lots of Resolutions. This year I am making a to do list instead, as the year goes on I will be crossing off those things that I complete and add new things I want to do as well.

At the moment I stand with three main ones:

1. Get a social life - Since having my boys I don't go out as much as I used to, but I also tend to just stay in sofa bound with my husband. I want us all to socialise more next year. It will be good for us as a unit giving us new things to talk about and good for our children to see us and to learn how to act in a new environment.

2. Remember the birthdays of those I love - I tend to be really unorganised in this respect, and they sneak upon me. If this happened to me I wouldn't like it so why do I do it to other people.  I have diaries and calenders, it shouldn't be too difficult to do (you would think!)

3. Go to Nandos - Yes shallow, but hey I really want to go!

Yes there are other things I will want to do, and will do but for now those are the main things.

I will continue my weightloss journey, but this is not on my things to do as I accept myself as I am and I am simply just making myself the best me I can be. There is nothing about me I want to change.

Currently I stand just 3lbs off my 2 stone target. Then as ever I will set my next target from then.

Questions for you:

What are you looking forward to doing in the New Year?

Do you make Resolutions?

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

So Here It Is... Well It Is Amost the New Year

It's almost time to get back to normal. Today I have been having a chores day, pottering up and down the high street looking in part for inspiration and in part doing jobs for my grandmother, the pre-school, my husband... I think that you can see how it's going.

So half way round Netto (I know the glamour!) I decided that what I needed was more speed food (yes I am slightly addicted and obsessed by Slimming World again at the moment. Although I do refuse to talk about it offline unless I'm in class). Of course me being the strange soul that I am was obviously lead to my Nearly Soba Noodle Bowl for lunch. So quick and tasty, takes as long to cook as it does to boil up a pan of wholemeal spaghetti (for me it must be wholemeal as the white stuff isn't as tasty and you need that nutty edge that it gives you).

So here I introduced my

Nearly Soba Noodle Bowl

500g Wholemeal Spaghetti
1 bag of stir fry veggies
2-4 cloves garlic, crushed
1.5-2 pints bovril chicken stock
1/2 cup tamari sauce (aged soy sauce, but any will do)
1tbsp ground coriander
1/2 tbsp ground cumin
pinch cayenne pepper

Quickly stir fry the veggies in fry light, add the garlic, coriander and cumin. Pour over the chicken stock and soy. cook until the veggies are tender.
Boil Spaghetti.

To serve, put some spaghetti in the bottom of a bowl and cover with the chinese veggie soup.

N.B. You can add extra protein in here too, on the one I made today I added in some pre-cooked king prawns, chicken breast also works well.

optional extra

Noodle crunch (total 8.5 syns, a good size single sprinkling about 2 syns)

28g tbsp sesame seeds
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
pinch cayenne pepper

in a dry frying pan toast the sesame seeds when golden and fragrant turn the heat off and add the spices, toss in the pan until combined and put in a airtight container. Will last about a month (unless you're as addicted to the crunch as I am!)

Sunday, 26 December 2010

Merry Christmas

Hope everyone out there has had a good Christmas/Yuletide this year. 

A hazey fog of yuk descended over me this year, so I've not been able to enjoy it as much as I usually would, didn't eat much (a bacon buttie and a mini pork one too) I've had a reaction to something I've eaten and am still feeling the benefits over 48 hrs later, hence I'm up at stupid o clock on a monday morning - saying that I also have my final batch of cupcakes for Fozzys for this year.

This year's runaway flavour has been Chocolate Orange - I'm so proud! Bring on the New Year, my plan is currently for carrot cake cupcakes!

Today I'm going clear liquids only in the hope to shift this fug, as I still feel dreadful - hot lemonade is my cure all - I just don't have any lemonade in :( only 4 hours until the shop opens! Bring on the microwave goodness.

Boys had a fab day despite my malaise (and major dinner cock up on the big day!) and have a suitably large haul, tomorrow will be Thing 1's 5th birthday, scary thought really. Hope he likes his bike, and that the snow and ice clear up soon so he can learn to ride it stabiliser free!

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Ho Ho Ho-M-G it's Nearly Christmas?

So yes, time is running away with itself again, I really do wish that sometimes it would slow down a little.

After a week of snow days followed by a week of kiddysickness (boo - never much fun!) we are finally getting back to some sort of normality, aside from the skiddy black ice that has snuck up on us this last couple of days. The snow has made way for 2-3 inches of thick compacted ice, and the thaw isn't working as quickly as it usually would, not too bad, except we are due to have a turn in the weather again tomorrow! (Why does it always happen on a work night?)

So this does mean that I've not really been upto much apart from avoiding the cold, being mummy, and going to Slimming World.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

A Whole New World

Push - Film Review{push}+c{57}+ae28{Blu-ray}+

Director Paul Maguire
Main cast: Chris Evans
                 Dakota Fanning
                 Camilla Belle
In the near future humans have developed special abilities, to push a thought, smell a history and draw the future among others.

The hero of the piece, Nick, (Evans) is a 2nd generation mover in hiding after The Division kill his telekinetic father.

As he hits a personal rock bottom teenage 2nd Generation Watcher Cassie (Fanning) barges into his life promising him great riches for one small job.

Anyhoo let me cut to the chase. The Division has been capturing the 'super-powered' folk and experimenting with a cocktail of drugs to make the perfect specimen. Except so far every subject has died, apart from Kira (Belle) who survives and escapes taking the drug supply with her. Setting in motion a battle between, a hard-nosed Cantonese gang, The Division and Nick and co battling for control and overall the ultimate power.

A stylish, slick, fast-moving piece with many twists and turns, which also left me with some unanswered questions.


Saturday, 27 November 2010

Devil May Care

Devil Bones, by Kathy Reichs

As an ardent fan of the TV series Bones (shown on Sky 1, but changing to Living in the New Year) I have read a couple of books from the Kathy Reichs back catalogue.

A swift read, it only took me about 3 evenings, it suffers from a lot of abbreviations that as a British reader left me slightly baffled.

The story was a nice straight forward tale of human bones found in a cellar, that chapter by chapter got more complicated bringing in Wicca and satanic rituals. The emergence of an old college friend, the return of her Canadian former partner Ryan and the death of a colleague mean that as ever Tempe Brennan's personal life is all over the place, leading to her falling off the diet coke and into something much stronger.

A nicely paced novel, that worked well was ruined for me by the hastened ending where it seemed to just move to a conclusion way too fast.

If you like Kathy Reichs then this is a good book for you, if you have never read her before this is not a good story to start with.

7/10 (not bad but definitely can do better)

Recipe of the Day

Butternut squash, carrot and bacon

2 onions, roughly chopped
4 large carrots, roughly chopped
1 medium butternut squash, chopped into 2cm/1" chunks
500ml chicken stock
8 rashers lean bacon, snipped up into small pieces
salt and pepper to taste

1. Put squash, carrots, onions and stock into a large saucepan. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer until the carrots are soft.

2. Blitz the veggies until smooth. Add the bacon, return to a low heat and allow to bubble until the bacon is cooked through. More water can be added at this point if required. Season well.


I ate this on Thursday and Friday, it was divine and so silky.

Alternatively you could also cook up the bacon separately or used some sliced up smoked ham or shredded leftover gammon.

A Peach of a Murder

Peach Cobbler Murder by Joanne Fluke

This is from a fabulous series of Hannah Swensen Mystery books.

Based in the small town of Lake Eden, Minnesota bakery owner, Hannah Swensen, finds her shop The Cookie Jar in trouble after a rival store opens across the street. Hoping that the popularity of the new Magnolia Blossom Bakery is a passing fad, the southern belle owner Shawna Lee and her sister Vanessa Quinn are winding up our cook and cutting into the shop's profits one slice of Peach Cobbler at a time.

One early morning at the bakery Hannah notices that the lights are on over the road, so goes to check, finding a body in the process. Who did it? Hannah is a prime suspect, can she solve the murder and save her name and her shop too? I'm not telling.

Some fantastic recipes from the bakery are sprinkled throughout too.

9/10 - loved this cheery light book

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Today's Recipe of the Day

BBQ Baked Beans - Extra Easy friendly

2 onions, roughly chopped
2 tins baked beans
200g (half tin) of chopped tomatoes
200g (ish) lean bacon, cut into bitesize pieces
2 tsp mild chilli powder
1 tsp mustard powder
5 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp wookie sauce
salt and pepper

1. In fry light soften the onion, add bacon and cook through.
2. add the spices stir well.
3. Add the baked beans, tomato, balsamic and wookie sauce stir well. Bring to boil, and reduce heat. Season well.
4. Serve.

I like mine with syn free sausages, potato wedges and homemade coleslaw.

Monday, 22 November 2010


I can't believe just how long it has been since I last posted anything!

So what have I been upto? Well it has been busy busy busy here. I have set up Princess Kitchen which is now running fairly smoothly as well as still being a charity chairperson and on the committee of another one. My 2 boys are growing up so fast it is actually getting scary now, but they are so much better for it though and more fun every day.

I have cut back on my fb life but now harbour a major twitter obsession, lets see where that leads me!

I have rejoined Slimming World too, so now and again I'll probably be posting some of my recipes that I have either made up, begged borrowed or just plain stolen and made my own! So far I'm 11.5lbs down.

I have discovered a whole community of SWorlders over on Twitter which is fab and keeps me on track. here is the link for a fab blog of SW friendly recipes

This has been a very garbled post and exceedly badly written but I will get better with practice honest!

Thursday, 28 October 2010

How Long...

I can't believe it's been 2 months.

There has been lots of change, including the birth of a new business Princess Kitchen, which is my new little baby baking cupcakes and quiches for local cafes.

Apart from that, and a lack of time for myself its business as usual.

So my current obsession is 50s style clothing.

Not all of what I'm lusting after is true vintage, in fact a lot of it is rockabilly and Hell Bunny.

You may notice a lot of black, but it appears to be the most classic look. Strangely, I even own  a dress similar to the black v-neck ruched number, and I'll be wearing that on Saturday at the children's hallowe'en disco.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Blogs and Books #1

So here I ramble into the realm of Book Reviews.

I know that The Lost Symbol has been out for a while, but my book pile is immense and many of the tomes I will talk about on here are exceedingly old. I have a habit of buying books that I like the look of then not reading until I hit a momentary time in life that sort of reflects it... Hence Oliver Twist has stayed on the shelf for over a decade!

Anyway I finally finished reading Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol last night, took longer than I expected I had read his other offering in 2 days and this one took me 5 nights. After he stopped recanting the past and checking each character back to the same point in time and hammering home the same piece of information the book gathered pace at a fantastical rate.

Following Langdon as he attempts along with another female sidekick to solve a long standing Masonic mystery before his good friend and mentor (oh and head honcho mason to boot) Peter Solomon is killed by a man looking for revenge against the Soloman family.

Overall the book appears to be an advert for The Secret and The Laws of Attraction. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing but also not a good selling point.

So today I have begun reading Eat, Pray, Love which has just been released as a film with Julia Roberts. So just in case I get to the cinema to see it (yeah right!) or maybe before I can buy it on DVD I thought I best read it. I have seen an interview with the author Elizabeth Gilbert on Oprah some time ago which encouraged me to buy the book, and so it has been sat on my pile for a few months.

Monday, 23 August 2010

It's All About Me: I have the lurgy... bleurgh

It's All About Me: I have the lurgy... bleurgh: "So today is now a pj day... strangely the boys don't seem to see the benefits of lounging in your pjs, sadly. So far I have been exposed to..."

I have the lurgy... bleurgh

So today is now a pj day... strangely the boys don't seem to see the benefits of lounging in your pjs, sadly. So far I have been exposed to The Magic Roundabout and Stuart Little, not quite the Audrey Hepburn and Doris Day I crave on an under the weather day. I've even run out of chicken noodle soup... so not good. I think that there should be a delivery of it when ever you're ill a sort of dial a jewish mama with matza balls, jewish penacillin and general good advice. Oy vey maybe I should convert... but that could be tricky and slightly over the top even for me!
But really all I want today is to sit on my sofa and be still.

I have finally got some decent reading in. I'm not about halfway though The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown. So far not a bad read, but not as addictive as his previous Langdon books.

Friday, 20 August 2010

Birthdays Come and Go, But I Miss You All The Same

Today would have been my mother's 59th birthday. It's just a shame that she barely made it past her 50th before she died. I can't believe that it has almost been 9 years since she left this realm. It still hurts the same everyday. I'm sure I'm never going to really get past the hole that was left.

I look at my boys and can't believe that she's never seen them or that they never saw her. They don't know the one person that was my whole life that I silently shed tears for on an almost daily basis still. They don't know the pain I feel when I look at them and know that they have this Granny shaped hole.

Sleep has escaped me tonight, which is a shock considering the 11 hour shift I did today, but I could do with a drink, it's a shame that in 4 hours I'll be going grocery shopping.

Boring post I know but hey, life isn't always fun.  x

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Thanks To The World's Technology Geeks For YouTube

I've been utilitising the joys of YouTube of  late... Especially feeding my lust of Tim Minchin

He's on tour in December, but alas due to my dodgy hours at my day job in the Christmas months I don't think I'll manage to get there, but I'm working on softening up the hubster for a trip to Nottingham (fingers crossed I might be able to wing it!)

Last night I watched Rock'n'Roll Nerd, which is a documentary that follows Tim as he rises through the comedy ranks from unknown wannabe to conquering the Edinburgh Festival and through to the birth of his daughter. An emotional roller coaster for me at least, was blubbing like a fool! Not usually one of my characteristics.

So now I'm looking for a bit of a reinvention. Just where to start!

I'm also remembering my days hanging out and performing in the comedy clubs of Bristol. I miss them days so much, so far removed from the life I have now as a married mother to 2 boys (3 and 4) and 3 other jobs. I miss the noise, the laughter and camaraderie (oh and the alcohol fuelled nights) but those are no longer and I need to work out my place in the scheme of things once more.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Hello, how are you, let me ask you your name...

So this is a little aside from my usual hour-to-hour existance as a mother to 2 boys, part-time listings producer (or sub really) and cupcake maker.

I'll be hiding in here and opening up the can of whatever it is that's in my head at that time. I can't promise it will make sense, linear or even happy.

Let's see how it goes.