Sunday, June 30, 2013

Silent Sunday

Linking up with Cosmic Girl


If you would like to win a £10 voucher to my wooden toy shop to spend online please click on the logo to your left.

Closes 30 June 2013

Friday, June 28, 2013

The Gymnastics Coach Would Be So Proud

The Girl used to do Gymnastics.  She was quite good at it and then she began to have problems with her knees and ankles in May/June 2011.  Lots of swelling, pain and even a very pronounced limp. In the October we finally found out what was wrong; she was diagnosed with JIA - Juvenile idiopathic arthritis or what you may know as Rheumatoid Arthritis.  JIA is what it is known as in under 16s.  

She tried to carry on with her gymnastics during this time but spent most of the session sitting on the sideline, sometimes even crying in pain.  It was a hard decision to make but at Christmas we made the decision for her not to continue.  She was very upset but knew it was for the best.

Eighteen months have now passed and after 3 sets of steroid injections and daily medication on the whole she is much better but does have flares.  Since then we have also discovered she has hypermobility or double jointed which explains why she was so good at gymnastics.  Its a case of managing her activities, keeping on top of meds and lots and lots of physio.

Now we live by the sea and it is so much more relaxed here than it was where we lived in the Midlands.  I am also trying to be more relaxed with what I allow The Boy & Girl to do without being supervised   They need their freedom.

The Boy turned 11 last month and in 2 weeks time The Girl will turn 10.  They really are growing up so quickly.

They both have made friends so easily and love to go out and play with them.  

We are lucky in that we live in a small town and our home is less than 100 metres from the beach.  It is so lovely to live here especially in the summer when the is sun shining   As a child we would spend the whole of our 6 weeks summer holidays here and most weekends during the summer months. My parents were beyond strict and really never let me go anywhere as a child except for when we came here.  Then we (Little Brother & I) would go off out for the day, we knew what time our evening meal was and we just had to be back by then.  

However, there were rules:

  • Don't go off we anybody.
  • Don't go in people houses, even if we knew them.
  • The cottage is by the level crossing and even though the trains are only every 2 hours we knew we had to be careful crossing the track.
  • Stay within the boundaries we were given, no wondering off out of the town or up the river or along the beach.
  • No going in the sea above knee height and never to go in when the tide is going out.
  • If you go in the sea, don't get your clothes wet unless swimming wear.
  • Under no circumstances walk on the breakers.

We knew the rules and kept to them.  

These rules worked.

These are the rules my children have been set.  I am lucky in that my children have mobiles and they don't leave the house without them and they must always be answered when I call them.  

There are big consequences for any child that does not answer their phone when I call.

We had been on an unexpected day trip and I had not taken my camera with me and then my phone battery died.  We had been using The Girl's camera on her phone.  

So imagine my surprise when I was downloading the photos from The Girl's phone and I found this:

Practicing her beam work...on BREAKERS!

Her gymnastics coach would be so proud.

I'll let you guess how many times she has been allowed out since I found this.

Linking with Mumsnet Bloggers Network #PlugYourPost Blog Hop

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Reasons To Be Cheerful

Reasons to be Cheerful at Mummy from the Heart

Over the past few months I have been reading lots of posts that have linked up here all about celebrating the positive in our lives no matter how small or insignificant it may be.  

I have been meaning to take part for quite a while as I think it is about time I take note of the good things in my life   There have been huge upheavals and changes in our lives over the past couple of years and now finally things are settling down and life is on the up.  On too many occasions the down things got on top of me but not anymore.

These are my reasons to be cheerful this week:

Number 1

On Monday I am finally get the keys to the shop.  This is four months of hard work.  

I am so looking forward to having regular work hours and something to get me up and going in the morning.  For too long I have not needed to get up in the morning to leave the house and although I have been working it has been from the comfort of this desk at home that I am writing this from.  Its awful to admit but some days its been a go to work in pjs day.  This is not motivating or productive and I am very much looking forward to having to go out to work.

Number 2

We did something different and new this week.  For the price of £2 we enjoyed time in the arcade on the sea front.  I remember as a child going in there with my Nan to play bingo on a Saturday night and her giving me a bag of 2p's to play on the 2p coin drop arcade game.

The Boy and The Girl were jumping with excitement and all for £2.  Certainly not a regular activity but we will do it again.

Number 3

The Boy is enjoying learning welsh.  He has had a fabulous time this term at the Welsh Unit.

I can't believe how easily he has picked the Welsh language up in just 4 months of living in Wales.  I honestly thought he would struggle but he hasn't and he enjoys coming home and telling us what things are in Welsh.

What are you cheerful about this week?

Linking up with Mummy from the Heart.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday?

Sadly I had to take a little break from joining in Ladies.  Life and health took over but after much rest and recuperation I'm back and raring to go.  To be honest the break away from the internet did me the world of good.  I even took time away from crafting.  Still not got much time to craft as life is super hectic here.  On Monday I will finally get the keys to the shop!  Yay, the builders, plumbers and decorators will have finished and in we go.  Not sure what the state of the floor will be like but I'm hoping it won't need replacing after all the work has been completed as this is an expense I can do without.

Anyway, enough work talk and on to the purpose of your visit.  This is my desk last night.

I had spent the weekend on a big tidy and sort and as you can see there isn't really anything exciting to look at.  

Don't forget to take a look here on Julia's blog to see lots and lots of crafty spaces all around the world.

If you have made it here, I thank you and sorry but another little bit of work!  If you take a look at the top on the left there is a competition over on my website.  Click on the logo to enter.  It closes 30 June and I'm sorry to any international Ladies but its only open to the UK. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Project Life Tuesday

After jumping forward and missing out a couple of weeks last time I have now gone back and completed week 7:

I have made a start on weeks 8 and 9 but my printer ran out of ink and I thought I had some but didn't.  Amazon tell me they dispatched it yesterday and once it arrives I just need to print the photos.  Hopefully I can get both weeks finished in time for next Tuesday.

As usual I am linking up with The Mom Creative.

Crochet Time

** If you have come from WOYWW I've put the wrong link in.  
The post you want is here**

I have not taken part in Tuesday Tallies or Work In Progress Wednesday since late last year.  Carole stopped the link up for a few months and  started it up again a few weeks back.  I've not really had much time for crochet with life, work, kids and my rheumatoid arthritis has been playing up a bit and it has been uncomfortable to crochet.  

However, I made a start on this project.  

Before this week I had only managed to make 2 squares and this week I buckled down and made another one.  Ok its,only one square but it was the big 12 round granny that I made:

As you can see it is in desperate need of blocking.  Not sure how I will block this considering it is 22" square.

This is what I have made to date:

Loving this yarn and how bright and fresh these colours are.  The sun is helping me fall in love with those squares too.

Now please excuse me while I go and sit in that lovely sunshine.


Linking up with Gingerbread Girl and WIP Wednesday.  

Monday, June 24, 2013

Meal Planning Monday

This is our menu for this week:

Monday - Not sure what we are having tonight as will look for a bargain when I do
the shopping this afternoon.

Tuesday - Chicken in a cream sauce with pasta

Wednesday - Chicken burgers

Thursday - Fajitas 

Friday - Sausage Cassarole

Saturday - Lasagna

Sunday - Roast Pork

Linking up with Mrs M.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

We Went All Potty In The Garden

Summer was sort of here a few weeks ago.  The sun shone down and fun was to be had outside.  In the Midlands we had a large garden, a veg patch at the top, chicken run and large grassed area.  There were two large patios as well.  A lovely space but a large commitment too.  With full time work and disabilities it was very hard to keep on top of.

When we moved in February to our holiday home we went to the other extreme.  A tiny lawn and a bit of crazy paving that the grass had over grown.  Lovely area to keep on top of but nowhere for veggies, the pretties or the chooks.  When the Midlands house sells and we buy something here I want a garden in between the two.  In the meantime it's pots and tubs for us.

I used some pots I already had and purchased some compost.  Filled the three pots and then filled a little planting tray.  Now it was over to The Girl.  

She leveled the soil.

Poked a hole in each compartment

Planted a seed in each

Covered over the hole and watered.

We enjoyed the rest of the day in the sun, had a water fight and then rounded off the day with a BBQ.

Two weeks later we have been watering everyday, on more than one occasion the the rain has helped us.  To date we have yet to see the seeds grow but it's early days.

The pots we planted are looking like this: 

With nature doing what it does best:

Great afternoon was had and now we wait for some more sun so we can enjoy looking at the fruits of our labour.

This post is an entry for BritMums’ #KidsGrowWild Challenge sponsored by further details can be found here

As part of this challenge we received a children's gardening set: mini spade, trowel  watering can, children's gardening gloves and a bag to store them all in plus 3 packets of flower seeds.    
All views are mine and all other items including the pots, trays, compost and flowers were purchased by myself.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Meatball Extravaganza!

Richmond (the sausage makers) have just launched their mini meat balls.  The kids love their sausages, they a good price for a tasty product and we were happy to try the meatballs when asked.  

The meatballs come in packets of 20  (Fresh) & 40 (Frozen). When I went to our local supermarket (Co-op) I spotted the fresh  pack of 20 costing £1.99.  I got 2 packs of these for us to try.  

When I was looking on-line the frozen ones are priced at £2.49 which is a much better buy.  Tesco also have the fresh at half price until 25 June. Too bad my local Tesco is an hour and 20 mins away and they don't deliver to where we live!

Firstly I made a tomato sauce.  I used a jar of passata, and to this I added:

  • 1 tablespoon of tomato puree
  • Crushed garlic (to your personal taste)
  • Good slug of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 pint of beef stock
  • 1/2 glass of red wine - alcohol is removed with cooking but feel free to leave out

I brought the sauce to the boil then simmered for 3/4 hours until I had a nice thick sauce.  You need to stir this maybe 3/4 times during cooking.

In a separate pan I browned two chopped onions and then added sliced mushrooms. Once the sauce is cooked you can add the onion and mushrooms. My kids don't like mushrooms so I add them to my plate after serving.

Cook your pasta - 2oz per adult, smaller for children depending on age and appetite.

Whilst the pasta is cooking, warm the meatballs in the oven - 8 mins.

Drain the pasta then return to the saucepan.

Pour 2/3 of sauce in with the pasta and stir. 

Place pasta in a serving dish with meatballs on top and pour over remaining sauce.

Serve with Parmesan or Cheddar for little ones.

Then laugh as your daughter gets the sauce everywhere!

If you don't use all of the pasta sauce it can be frozen for 1 month.  Just get it out of the freezer a few hours before you want to use it to let it thaw.  You can add chilli to it for a lovely homemade chilli con carne sauce or simply stir through pasta.  It can also be used  with some added cream and milk for homemade tomato soup (without the onions and mushrooms) served with crusty bread for a quick and easy lunch or starter.  I tend to increase the quantities when cooking the tomato sauce and freeze some for use later.

To make the meatballs and pasta I used one packet of the meatballs.  

With the other packet we had a super quick meal that really did take less than 10 minutes to cook.  Great for one of those nights when you have little time to spare.

I browned an onion in a pan with a spray of low cat cooking spray and then added a splash of low salt soy sauce.  

Cut the meatballs in half, added to the pan.  Warmed through for 2 minutes.

I then added egg noodles and cooked for 2 minutes until the noodles were warm.

In another pan I toasted 2 tablespoons of sesame seeds.  They take seconds so don't turn your back!

Once the noodle mix was warm I served this in to individual bowls and sprinkled with the sesame seeds.

Now as a family we don't like beansprouts and all stir fry veg mixes in our local supermarket come with them in and as the kids don't like carrots and cabbage either its such a long winded affair cooking 2 two different stir fry's so I tend to eat it as they do unless I have more time.  If your family eat stir fry veg feel free to add these with the onions.  Will certainly make the food go further and count towards your one a day.

Both The Boy (11) and The Girl (9) loved both meals and said they would love to have them again.  

The Pasta dish easily served 4 of us (2 adults, 2 children) as the pasta was very filling.  The stir fry served the 3 of us.

This post is an entry for BritMums’ Hungry to Happy Challenge sponsored by Richmond Mini Meatballs


As part of this review we received a £3 voucher to purchase the meatballs.  
All views are mine and all other ingredients were purchased by myself.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Project Life Tuesday

Not much progress over the past few weeks on Project Life or this Blog to be honest.  Life took over.  However, I did order another PL kit from Sarah's Cards last Thursday (I picked the Jade kit) and Friday afternoon it arrived.  This prompted me to get to work on my album.  I missed a couple of weeks out as I have been tinkering with them already and started work on week 10.

Linking up with The Mom Creative where you will find a link to plenty of other Project Life posts.