shabby background

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Revenge of the Fifth

So it's May 5th. This year seems to be running away from us, hurtling out of control like a bus with no breaks speeding down a steep hill. I'm sure that the year actually gets shorter!

Had a few iffy not so glittery and sparkly weeks, but have loved having both my boys home for the Easter holidays. Only 3 weeks to the next week off.

At the Pre-School fund raising season is about to get underway again. We have a local event in my home town coming up called Giant Bradley Day. I'll talk about that closer to the time me thinks.

I'm so chuffed today I that have been given  a "Stylish blogger" award - how cool is this?

Here are the "rules" of the award:

• Thank and link to the blogger who nominated you

• Share seven things about yourself

• Award 15 bloggers and tell them you have done it.

I was given the award by Hayles at The life of a Yorkshire pudding!, go check out her fab blog!!!

I follow an eclectic bunch of blogs ranging from Slimming World inspired diet blogs, to just general food porn with lifestyle blogs in there to boot, it's been tough to just pick 15:

Jasmine -
Abbey -
Bentobird -
Jules -
Caitlin -
Tina -
Lucy -
Jess -
Angie -
Julie -
Alex -
Sarah -
Stephanie -
sherimiya -

and lastly 7 things about me...

1. I am 34, with a mental age of about 4, married to Mr H and have 2 boys Thing#1 and Thing#2.

2. I try and find the good in everyone, but do not suffer fools gladly.

3. I love striking photography and stills (which you may notice if you are blog regular)

4. I have a food obsession, to eat, cook and bake.

5. Find removing my bum from the sofa quite stuff at times although I also do get bored exceedingly easily.

6. I love strawberries, but not strawberry flavoured items.

7. My favourite ice cream is pralines and cream.

While I remember my May 1st photo!

Friday, 22 April 2011

Is It Really a Good Friday?

Its generally regarded as bad practice to discuss matters involving religion, politics or sex.

Today religion is at the fore of my mind. The calender tells us that it is Good Friday, the start of the Easter Weekend.

I was raised within the Church of England branch of Christianity. My family weren't huge church goers but were very moral and religious. So I was brought up with very black and white definitions of right and wrong.

Following my heart I was confirmed into the Church on my 17th birthday. Since then many things have made me question my faith.

I feel that this weekend is another example of how, on a whole, the Christian faith isn't so much a belief as an expectation.

The country seemingly grinds to a halt and the shops alter their trading hours. So you are affected whether or not you believe that Jesus died for our salvation or this this religions festival (much like Christmas) is imposed on you.

Officially Good Friday is a Bank Holiday in the UK, its a day when Christians commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his death at Calvary. Easter Week draws to a close with Easter Sunday. The day when Jesus rose from the dead. This is a time of joy and celebration, and Easter Eggs.  As a parent the issue of Easter eggs makes me quiet uncomfortable.

I do not wish to be a hypocrite, I have some problems with this:

Why if I don't believe in 'God' do I celebrate Easter?
Why do I abstain from eating flesh on Good Friday?
Why do I feel the need to share Easter Eggs?
Do I teach my boys that Easter is about celebrating the life, death and Ascension of Jesus, when my brain is thinking 'really? Like that could happen!'

I am not dismissing religion, it is a fantastic tool that helps many people cope and offers guidelines on how to live a moral life. Religion is a belief that connect people across ages and races. However, religion is also the crux behind all major conflicts. Just look at the battles in Gaze, and the Muslim/Christian divides (which in my opinion shouldn't exist as for the main part Christians and Muslims share the same basic code and religious texts).

Then again way back when Christianity hadn't yet arrived in Britain the main belief was Paganism (not just one religion but a heading for many) the egg was seen as a symbol of the rebirth of the Earth. Spring was the time when the day's were longer and lighter, we could work on the land and the vegetation around us were coming back to life.

Tradition, dating back to then observes eggs - often chicken - dyed or panted being gifted as a celebration of this new beginning. This has been replace more recently by chocolate eggs in colourful wrappings. So really I shouldn't have problem with this as it pre-dates Christianity.

So Easter time is also a period of 'rebirth' be it for the seasons or of Jesus for his followers.

Eggs are a symbol of this 'rebirth' adopted by the church from more ancient beliefs.

I have no problems with my children learning about the Christian believes (just as well as they will attend C of E school until secondary school. it is my role to introduce them to other religions too. If they choose to believe it will be their choice. I have a mish mash of a belief system. I er towards karma and being a 'good' person as what you put out there comes back three fold. I also find myself drawn to the 'new age' ideals of The Secret and other similar movements which are heading back towards pre-Christian 'Pagan' beliefs.

But overall I believe that is my role to be the best me I can be and to Glitter and Sparkle.

For those of you who celebrate: Happy Easter x

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Anxiety and Depression

I attempt to not be down in my blog posts. But this is an issue I couldn't keep quiet about any longer.

There is nothing abnormal or sub par about being anxious and on many occasions this is a useful feature. However, in some cases it is detrimental. Being overly introspective can lead to other apprehensions (including mixing with others) it affects so many other parts of life, including reducing attention and overall performance in everyday activities.

Usually the feeling of anxiety and stress are a response to pressure of some sort. The worse the pressure - the worse the anxiety felt. It can just be one problem or, as is often very common, an accumulation of things.

This is my own personal battle. In my case it’s often brought about by secrets. I tend not to deal well when I have too many details that I can’t act on. I am a person who troubleshoots. Action keeps my anxiety at bay (with the help of medication - but that is a topic for another day). I am currently in the middle of a process that I am not in control of and really can’t talk about openly and will not until I have all the facts.

Depression on the other hand can sneak upon a person without formally introducing itself. Unless you have suffered it is also very hard to describe the feeling it manifests to an outsider. It takes a certain amount of acceptance to be able to see there is a problem and move on. Not always medicated and often misdiagnosed between 5% and 10% of the population suffer from a version of depression that needs support, and at some point in our lifetime 20% of us will have a depressive episode of some description.

Being depressed is not a person being weak. It also rarely occurs alone. As they say misery loves company, and frequently depression arrives part and parcel with other problems, for example an anxiety disorder.

After many years of self doubt and pondering, also after suffering with post natal depression I went to see my GP again. This time I was taken seriously, and instead of being sent off to a counsellor (as I was after my mother died) I was given support. I filled out a form about how I how feeling and how my feelings were affecting my day to day life. We discovered that I need routine, I don’t cope well if there is no structure to my day. I completed the PHQ-9 which pin pointed how I felt and if I was classed as suicidal. At times, yes I was. At times, I still am. But, I fight on for my children. They do not deserve the pain that a flash of a dark idea would forever leave them with.

I was lucky, I was given anti-anxiety medication. It worked first time. The same dose still works now. I sometimes think I’m ‘better’ and stop taking the tablets. Then the tricky times come back. They affect me severely, and everyone around me too. I can be self destructive and secretive about this. It is no way to live. I have a chemical imbalance. It’s not my fault. It is how I am wired.

Right now I am fighting a desire to hide from the world, to live in a small box where no one and nothing can hurt me or my family. This is not practical. I have small children, a job and other roles dependant on me.  I have to remember why I started my Glitter and Sparkle project for this year.

We (fellow sufferers) fight on through our desires to keep on living with these disorders day to day. Many will not share with those around them that they are suffering. These are often the people who need the most help. But talking about a situation or what they are thinking can also be counter productive. Writing this and putting my beliefs out in the blog sphere is right for me. It will not be right for everyone.

If you know someone who suffers. Take it one day at a time. Let them dictate the pace. However, if you believe that this person is unaware of their suffering, please at least try and let them know. There are many people out there who can help and systems in place.

This is treatable, and we don’t have to suffer in silence.

Monday, 11 April 2011

Bright and Sunny

It's been fabulously sunny here in the Princess Garden, my lawn is trimmed, my new bushes are sprouting leaves, and I have a little greenhouse with it's first inhabitants. It's all rather exciting.

As I type this we are having a couple of April showers which I fully welcome as we needed to freshen up a bit.

Why is the sun such a powerful drug? People seem happier, moods are brighter, being outside seems a better option to couching in front of the television. Inhibitions drop and generally the world seems a better place to live. 

Often short lived, we need to remember it is still only April. A month of beginnings, it kicks off with April Fools Day, the echo of the Cuckoo returns to the trees until mid June when it flies off to other climes. Easter is late this year, just after my Wedding Anniversary (8 years and still counting), swiftly followed by the Royal Wedding and May Day. This month is all about new beginnings, folklore speaks of April fondly:

April shower bring May flowers

If early April is foggy
Rain in June
Makes fields boggy.

When April blows it's horn
'Tis good for hay and corn.

April wet - good wheat.

Till April dead, change not a thread.

I look forward to summer this year, spending time with the LBs kicking about in the garden, visiting local beaches and duck ponds. Lots of picnics and crafts. This week we are going to be decorating their Easter 'bonnets'. So it could be interesting to say the least.

I also have a new baking obsession evolving. Quiet by accident I discovered this book on Amazon and then her fantastically cute and gorgeous candy coloured blog bakerella I just adore it and can't wait to try out some of the cakes.

Saturday, 2 April 2011

April Fools

So it's a new month, which means new picture of me time, are you sure you are ready for this one? Taken at 5.30am no make up on just before leaving for work.

And as for the office the less I say about that the better right now! All I can say is on April Fool's Day and everything! Was never a good sign.

Anyway, today has been one of those days, the whole house has a lurgy to varying degrees, so we are all ratty, tired and generally grating on each other. So roll on bedtime!

So for other passions of this week, I'm loving my coffee. Courtesy of @coffeetoatea some amazing flavoured ground coffee flavours (I chose cinnamon and hazelnut, sticky toffee and french vanilla) and some equally great instant blends (this time I had Amaretto and Chocolate Caramel) so good. And syn free, which is even better! So when it was delivered on Monday by my faithful goth postie the smell from the package was sublime and just to make the day even better, my new cafetiere mug was in the other package! A fresh brew was made in an instant!

The vegetable endeavour is starting to take shape too! With my pots up on pots of seeds in old tubs are now little plants in their own right! Look they are fab! And the bean stalks are only a week old but they are reaching so high I'm going to keep an eye out for giants soon.

Now all I need is some space for them to move to for bringing on further, and the odd nice day for hardening off in the garden.
Click here for today's recipe of the day

Monday, 28 March 2011

A Fortnight of Firsts

I've had another busy couple of weeks. This time it's been sunny so I've hit the garden somewhat. It started looking exceedingly rough, but has started to take shape nicely. I have dug out my first ever vegetable patch.

You'll notice that it's not the tidiest of lawns or garden area. But slowly I have started to tame the jungle.

It's all rather exciting. Watching the seeds I have planted in numerous yogurt pots sprouting in the window sill. I do still need a greenhouse of sorts to go in the garden for some extra bringing on space as my window ledge in most definitely full now. 

Before veg patch digging

After digging - we're taking shape now!

Now to move onto some of my other firsts. As listed at the beginning of the year. I added goals including, make sushi, teach husband to cook.  For the first part of the list see Time to Look Forward. I have had more progress, I have made my 1st ever sushi - it tasted so good, my husband finally made his first from scratch meal! I even went as far as making my son's first bento box. So much fun.

Dinosaur Bento

My 1st sushi

Monday, 14 March 2011

Trying New Things

Urged by the words of Jasmine of Eat, Move, Write (and I quote They taste like Heaven in a bowl. ) visit to be entertained by this uplifting writer.

So this is the recipe I am following for the spinach and cheese savoury oats the lovely Jasmine accompanied hers with a poached egg, I'm tempted to step that little bit beyond and add some kippers too. I know - risky.

This (left) is what the dish should look like. This (below) however is how my 1st attempt turned out. Another go to get it right is required.

Also my missing a month of blogging I never got around to posting my monthly photos, so you lucky so and so reading this get to see two of them this time

I bet you can't believe your luck, 2 days of inane rambling and now strange pictures. Please come back I promise I won't always be this torturous!

Feb 1st

March 1st
 I appear to have created a photo crazy fool within myself (for further proof you should check out my twitter feed!)

Saturday, 12 March 2011

I can’t believe that I have let a whole month go without writing a single blog... oops! Anyway, I’m still working on Project Glitter & Sparkle

This week though I'm mainly excited by the idea of Bento. Which is roughly the Japanese term for packed lunch. With having 2 boys who have pack ups most days for school and a job which means over 2 shifts I eat breakfast, lunch and tea there so the art of the lunch box is close to my heart.

The picture on the left is one I found on the blog a lovely little blog that I'm sure everyone will enjoy.

I have just ordered a plain bento style lunch box online (see right) and eagerly awaits it's arrival from Hong Kong. Once I have mastered the art I have my heart set on a slightly more flashy set up.

A fab girl bento

Cherry Red slightly swisher affair
I also have an urge to decorate my rice balls and children's sandwiches using these handy cutters! I know little things and little minds! But an effect like this just looks too cute!

So watch this space, I will post what I make soon x

Monday, 31 January 2011

See today, Hair tomorrow

It has been tough keeping as up to date as I want to for all my little bits and bobs.

Had a bit of a shufty round the house, moving this and that here and there. Choosing what I want to keep or what I want to throw. I now have big piles of cooking magazines full of food p*rn which I now want to go through so I can update and change in the usual BeeBee way. So look out for the new recipes that will be hitting .

Today my Hubster had a rare day off (without the kids!) so we headed into Hull, and around and about getting my other half's new inkwork done.

Then we headed over to St Stephen's (above) and into Nando's for the first time, I was what can only be described as far too over excited for a grown up!  I had the most fabulous 1/2 chicken, hot peri peri, with spicy rice and sweetcorn. It was sublime.

Monday, 24 January 2011

Tme Flies...

Can't believe how fast January is passing, there is only seven sleeps until February!

I've not posted in a while as for some reason not been at my most positive, to be honest I've been in a total grump - and it's been no fun whatsoever. I am fighting my way into the glitter and sparkle that I deserve this year.

In a bid to reclaim my glitter and sparkle I have signed up for Zumba classes. Great fun, a good workout too - just wish it was on more than once a week!

May have to look into getting a DVD to do alongside my Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred DVD (available at both and for just £4.99 and free p&p.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Phew, What a Day

It's been a busy old couple of days here in my glitter & sparkle centre! Princess Kitchen is tackling bigger events (today being our first buffet for 32 covers) the clients were impressed with what they saw, fingers crossed it is as tasty as it did look when I dropped it off.

I seem to have taken a mission on without realising it of taking a photograph of my mainmeal each evening. Who knows why but I'll share some of this week's meals shortly.

The weather got me down today, quite literally too as I took a dive in a car park... ouch.

Bacon and Parmesean Spaghetti
Baked rice - a working lunch
Eggs, Chips & Beans
Tomorrow is an office bound day, so I'll be taking my usual soupy lunch tomorrow is my new concoction of Chicken minestrone the recipe can be found here:

Monday, 3 January 2011

A Day of Opportunities

It's been a strange old day, had a usual order to fill for Fozzy's Cafe and halfway through that I get a phonecall to cater for a YCA buffet - on Thursday! Eek panic stations ahoy lol.

So it's the end of the Christmas break and as of tomorrow we are almost back to reality here. Not necessarily a good thing as it took me two weeks to get used to them all being here and now it's going to feel really strange. At least school should be back on Thursday so I can get my buffet together in peace.

Tomorrow I also get to see some friends for the first time since before Christmas and see just how kind the New Year has been to me!

After being on Twitter a fair bit today (oops, but hey it keeps me sane!)  and got into a discussion about Sushi, personally I love the stuff, my favourite being either a maki roll or a cali roll mmm even typing the words makes me want to. So, I have found two more things to add to my things to do in 2011!

The Maki Roll

The Cali Roll

4. Learn how to make my own sushi.

5. Teach my husband how to cook 4 dishes. (His culinary skills can only be described as sandwich maker and general warmer uperer.

And in a fit of domestic goddess I also made a Pecan and Banana Loaf (you can find the recipe in here which I'm about to partake in with a lovely cup a char mmm.

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Streamers and Balloons

It's that brand spanking shiny New Year that we have all been waiting for. It finally arrived and is full of all the promise we knew it would be.

However, if you look really closely it is just the same as last year, but this is were the trick is, to keep looking through our childlike eyes as everyday is new and can be whatever we choose it to be.

This morning, after having my daily porridge, I started the day with a pain aux chocolate and a rich black coffee on my favourite cup and plate. It makes all the difference when you eat off something that you really love.

Apologies, for the scrappy backdrop, I needed to have some light to take the picture, and the only bit I could find was in the bay window of the front room!

It was scrummy and so worth the wait for them in the oven!

I am also going to start another new tradition on this blog. On the first day of the month I am going to take a head & shoulders shot of myself and post it.
So beware! I'm not at my best first thing in a morning. Please be kind.

This is could be an interesting aside to normal life, see how the little thing affect the soul and how these things are written on your face for the world to see.

It was a quiet night in last night, we love New Years Eve so the Hubster and I spent it together on the PS3 on a number of the Buzz games (I'm a bit of a quizaholic) I got wallopped 4 games to 1. No more than 1 shot of Morgan's Spiced was drunk.

So I will bid you farewell for today and leave you with a picture of my tea from last night!

P.s. If you would like to see some of my recipes please head over to where I will be updating my catalogue of foody things regularly.

Glitter & Sparkles