Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Flashback Friday

Do you yearn to watch Raggy Dolls, Knightmare, Henry's Cat, Children's Ward or Playdays (or even Playbus or Playschool?).

Would you rather listen to "Vogue" then "Frozen"?   Do you still have an Ace of Base song hidden somewhere?

Have you found yourself hunting high and low for an out of date board game (Thomas the Tank Engine, Market Day) just because you had it when you were little?

Would you rather be playing Dizzy, Booty or Gauntlet instead of Call of Duty?

Tuneful Tuesday - Auld Lang Syne

In typical New Years fashion, todays Tuneful Tuesday has to be that scottish classic "Auld Lang Syne" .

Here are the lyrics to trigger your memory.

If you have a song that holds memories or that you simply want to share with other people let me know, I may just feature it.

Monday, 30 December 2013

And the award for worst shop to exit with a pushchair.............. Aldi

I've never really been bothered about Aldi but when a new one opened near me I decided to venture into store....... it will be my last time!!

The store is laid out nicely tho I would suggest their products are no cheaper then other stores own brands.  Nothing really took our fancy - and this is a mummy with 2 (very stressful) children who was trying to decide what to cook for Tea at 3pm a Sunday night.

So empty handed we went to leave.

Sunday, 29 December 2013

When is it ok to wear a onesie??

Like most people I got a onesie for Christmas .......... ok I got 2 and inherited my husbands one that was too small for him :)

I said I would never be in the onesie club but I caved, sometime around November and bought one and eeekk it is sooo comfy!!  so for me these were the BEST Christmas present.
My favourite one.... my eeyore one - complete with head and tail.

Silent Sunday 29.12.13


Saturday, 28 December 2013

Saturday Caption ..... 28.12.13

Saturday is Caption Day ............... what is my Noah thinking?

Friday, 27 December 2013

Ranty Friday - the price of theatre tickets

After having cbeebies Panto on every day (at least once a day) since the 20th December I thought it would be nice to take the boys to the local one.

I remember as a child my mum used to take us regularly to the theatre (she used to work in one) and it was amazing.  yes I got some celebrity autographs but mainly the memories of just queueing, sitting, eating ice cream in the interval, it was just magical and I would LOVE my children to have the same experiences.

Unfortunately the 'big name' panto starts from £18 a ticket!!  That's just short of £80 for the 4 of us by the time you factor in interval ice cream.  Even the amateur one is around £15 a ticket (if you want a seat with a chance of seeing any of it).

Well that rules that experience out then.

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Sunday, 22 December 2013

101 (ish) things to do with the kids..........

Whilst visiting a farm on holiday with the boys I can across the National Trust's 50 things to do before you are 11 and 3/4.
One of our local schools also has a list ..... 100 things to do before you leave primary school.

OK so my boys are only 2 and a half and 5 but when I look at these lists I can tick off hardly anything already which is quite disappointing. I am therefore going to make 2014 a year of DOING.
Some of these challenges are definitely aimed at older children (so I have missed them off for the time being).  I won't be disappointed if we don't manage everything on this list but even if we can tick off 52 of them in 2014 I'll be a happy mummy.

So through a combination of these 2 lists and some of my own here is my "101 (ish) things to do with the kids" list.

Why don't you join us?? Perhaps choose 4 or 5 a month to achieve?

We've already done some this year which I might link up to, and may complete some more this year if I can (but with so much going on it won't be a deliberate effort).  Some of them I am sure will be ticked off numerous times in their childhood.

silent sunday 22nd December 2013


Saturday, 21 December 2013

Rivelin Valley Walk

I'm determined to get out and about more (well more than I already do) with the boys in 2014.  I have my 101 (ish) things to do with the kids challenge which will hopefully motivate me.   Noah now wants to be out his buggy all the time which is scary when you want to go for a longggg walk as you never know when he will decide he's had enough and either start winging or worse....he roots himself to the spot and will not be moved.

However it does make walks in the woods a much easier experience, and only living a stones throw from some of the most beautiful woodland in Sheffield, Rivelin, we thought it was high time we went exploring properly.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Witty Wednesday 18.12.13

Christmas Rocky Road

I feel very privileged to be writing this blog post for Attachment Mummy as she settles into her crazy Christmas with her (now 3) lovely children.   When she requested Christmas themed posts I knew I had to share my favourite treat with you all .... Rocky Road Bites.

Yes sure, you can buy it from that well know high street bakery or your local supermarket but there's something special about making your own, not to mention you get a lot more for your money.

Out of everything I make this is the one that gets requested time and time again by small boys and husband alike....not to mention my work colleagues and (as of today) the builders putting our new windows in.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Twas the Night Before Christmas .... A Soldiers Tale

This poem was written by a Peacekeeping soldier stationed overseas. The following is his request. I think it is reasonable:
"PLEASE. Would you do me the kind favour of sending this to as many people as you can? Christmas will be coming soon and some credit is due to all of theservice men and women for our being able to celebrate these festivities. Let's try in this small way to pay a tiny bit of what we owe. Make people stop and think of our heroes, living and dead, who sacrificed themselves for us.
Please, do your small part to plant this small seed."

T'was the night before christmas,
He lived all alone,

In a one bedroom house,
Made of plaster and stone.

Tuneful Tuesday - Jingle Bells

Christmas just wouldn't be Christmas without the sound of Sleigh bells which have become synonymous with the arrival of Father Christmas or Santa Claus.  The song, "Jingle Bells" captures this excitement and is loved by children of all ages!

Here's a reminder of the lyrics and a randomly selected youtube video.

If you have a song that holds memories or that you simply want to share with other people let me know, I may just feature it.

Friday, 13 December 2013

Ranty Friday - Taking credit for other people's ideas

This is one of my pet hates that is right up there alongside stealing peoples pictures from their blogs.  So I thought why get mad.... when I can #RantyFriday about it.

Back in 2009 I was having a look around the internet when a stumbled across a  fantastic idea - putting £1 a day into a jar and then taking out the money when you wanted to to spend on a treat.

You wouldn't miss £1 a day but think how great it would feel to have £50 to spend on that handbag you'd been looking at without feeling guilty, what else would you have spent that £1 on?

At the time I was very active on Money Saving Expert, I looked for a thread the same but there wasn't anything, so I started the £365 in 365 day challenge.  By the end of 2010 there were over 200 people signed up to the challenge.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

the post with no name

Been a bit on a blogging drought since moving.  I have posts I have started, things I really want to blog about but just can't find the motivation or the words.

I want to let you know everything that went pear shaped while moving house and how blundells are still making everything a big deal and twice as complicated as it needs to be..... but everytime I sit down to blog about it I get really annoyed and have to stop myself getting really angry... then I lose enthusiasm to write it.

I want to keep you posted with the Elflings activities, heck I want to have the motivation to let the elflings cause mischief every night.  I want the energy to carry out the Elflings challenges every day with the boys.... but my spirit seems to have vanished.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Tuneful Tuesday - Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer

Because it just wouldn't be Christmas without Rudolph!!

For your enjoyment, the lyrics and a randomly selected youtube video for "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer"
If you have a song that holds memories or that you simply want to share with other people let me know, I may just feature it.

What's YOUR favourite Christmas song?

Saturday, 7 December 2013

£365 in 365 days..... the 2014 challenge

I started this challenge in 2010 over on Money Saving Expert, but every year a few months in something happens, be it an unexpected bill or a family holiday and the money has to be opened.

But 2014 - new house, new me..... I WILL achieve the £365 target.

The aim: to put in £1 in a day from 1st January 2014- empty it on 31st December 2014 and spend spend spend in January 2015 sales.

Friday, 6 December 2013

Is being a SAHM a job?

Chelsea Mamma lit the touch paper and let it burn......read her post here.  Is being a Stay At Home Mum (whatever the circumstances) a 'job'??

I know there are many different reasons for being a SAHM, you may have had circumstances forced on you, you may have chosen to give up your job.
No ones life is the same and I am sure there will be many SAHM's who will disagree with me entirely and argue their life is far more challenging than ours however this is MY LIFE I am talking about.   I am making no accusations about anyone else's life  am simply outlining how I see it as a working mum and my experiences and observations on/ with my SAHM friends.

Make Christmas Magic.... Portable North Pole (PNP)

Another December in our house means another trip to the Portable North Pole.

We LOVE PNP in this house.

Every year I log into the PNP and ask Santa to send the boys a message.

Thursday, 5 December 2013

To Do List 6th December - 12th December 2013

We're all moved and settled in..... but thats a blog post for my to-do list. I have got soooo much to do between now and Christmas it's rediculous but new house, new beginnings and I need to stay on top of things.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Pizza Hut Party........... eventually I can give you an update!

Readers to my blog/ twitter may remember Ben's disastrous birthday party at Pizza Hut... you can read it here if not?

Well after over a month of chasing the complaint up and being told it was being investigated ... just to find out they had no record of having received it..... I have a response :)

Pizza hut have apologised to both me and Ben (in seperate letters - nice touch).  They have sent gift cards to the value of £95 (£30 refund and £65 so Ben can go with his friends in the new year).

Well done Pizza Hut, thank you.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Tuneful Tuesday - Alma Cogan "Never do a tango with an Eskimo"

This is the boys most requested Christmas song, so I thought I'd make it this week's Tuneful Tuesday hit.

For those of you who have never heard here it is, the lyrics and a randomly selected youtube video for Alma Cogan "Never do a tango with an Eskimo"
If you have a song that holds memories or that you simply want to share with other people let me know, I may just feature it.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Photo A Day (November 2013) (#PADN)

I have decided I need to build myself up gradually to the "Photo A Day for a Year" competition next year, so (as if I don't have enough going on this month) I am challenging myself to take a "Photo A Day" (for a Month - November) (#PADN)

I'm hoping this challenge will capture the joys and stresses of moving, the enjoyment of childhood and the ever changing colours and weather of the autumn season.

Silent Sunday 1.12.13


Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Tuneful Tuesday - Madness "Our House"

It only felt fitting that this weeks "Tuneful Tuesday" should reflect the stress of moving with the memories of houses and homes.  Who better to sum it all up than Madness and "Our House".

I am sharing the lyrics and a link to a youtube clip to the song (this has been selected at random and is not sponsored or hosted by me).

Anyone who has followed my ups and downs the last few weeks will know just how close to my feelings these 2 lines are.  They just about sum up how I have felt by 10pm  8pm  6pm  2pm 10am every day.

 "Mother's tired she needs a rest
The kids are playing up downstairs

If you have a song that holds memories or that you simply want to share with other people let me know, I may just feature it.

Friday, 22 November 2013

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Photo A Day - November 2013 - week 3 (15th to 21st November)

The main thread can be found here.  This page would soon get overcrowded tho so at the end of each week I will be moving them over onto their own post.

So here is week 3 - 15th to 21st November

Meal Plan - W/C 23rd November and 30th November

Two weeks shopping to order this week so therefore 2 weeks planning....

I'm only planning for teas.  Lunch is normally a sandwich, noodles, tinned spaghetti and sausages.

Moving .... one more sleep (ish)

EEEkkk - we get the keys tomorrow.  Well when I say 'we' I do of course mean 'I'.  Hubbys boss has kindly said he can have Sunday off (but not Saturday ... I won't repeat what I called him!)
So tomorrow I will be getting 2 very excited very hyperactive boys ready to go and pick up the keys, I will apparently then be expected to concentrate while they tell me lots of very important things while trying to keep an eye on said 2 boys who will be climbing the walls of the estate agents.

It will then be across the road to B&M to buy:
- New towels
- New crockey
- New Kettle

and onto the house........ to clean it.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Moving..... another chapter in the saga of stress

Why do companies make moving soo hard??

I'm not asking the world?  I would like be able to be a successful full time working mum who does not have to phone a premium rate number (or a not-free phone from my mobile) to be able to cancel a service or to arrange another one.

Lets look at the journey so far (we'll take Blundering'dells out of the equation for a few minutes, I'll update on them shortly).

Sky (TV, phone, broadband)

Use our online Move application they say....."We know that moving can be stressful, so we have a dedicated Home Move team to help.   Simply fill in the online form and they will call within 36 hours to get everything moving........... except they don't!!!

A week later when you phone (not a quick call - will be posting them the phone bill when it arrives) to track the progress as you've had no communication you get told they did call - amazing, as the phone didn't ring and if you had called why not leave a voicemail??
   Given that when Sky desperately wanted to sell me something a few months ago they phoned once an hour every hour for a week I find it very hard to believe that with something this important they would only phone once before closing a case.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Tuneful Tuesday - The Colours of the Wind from Pochahantas

Following last weeks song (The love has gone from Muppets) it reminded me of another really sad song, but one that triggers hidden emotions in me everytime I hear it.  

So this weeks "Tuneful Tuesday" is "The Colours of the Wind" from Pocahontas.
I am sharing the lyrics and a link to a youtube clip to the song (this has been selected at random and is not sponsored or hosted by me).
My favourite lines have to be

 "But if you walk the footsteps of a stranger
 You'll learn things you never knew you never knew" 

 it is just SO true and can be so reflective.

If you have a song that holds memories or that you simply want to share with other people let me know, I may just feature it.

Monday, 18 November 2013

Pear and cinnamon muffins

This week my boys will mostly not be eating Pears. Don't ask me why, for some reason after eating them frequently they have decided they do not like them .....

So my fruit bowl had week old+ pears gradually getting softer and softer ... instead of throwing them away they have become healthy (?) snacks for next week by way of Pear and Cinnamon muffins!!

Below is the recipie I used but they are a bit tasteless, if I were to make them again I think I'd buy some pear juice and add to the mixture to try and fruity it up a bit.

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Photo A Day - November 2013 - week 2 (8th November to 14th November)

The main thread can be found here.  This page would soon get overcrowded tho so at the end of each week I will be moving them over onto their own post.

So here is week 2 - 8th to 14th November

Friday, 15 November 2013

Review: Haba First Nativity Playset

Last year I hunted website after website, department store after department store trying to find a Nativity Set for my boys. You wouldn't thought it would be a difficult thing to find ... I only had 5 criteria:

  • It had to be wooden 
  • It had to be well made 
  • It had to have large enough pieces for small children to handle 
  • It had to be robust enough to withstand toddler play. 
  • It has to be affordable 

I found Nothing out there that fitted the bill. The bits were either too small, or didn't include all the characters or was plastic or worse cost far more money then I would every spend on a toy.

Then this year I discovered The Toadstool........ and the

Haba First Nativity Playset

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Poundland's Pin it to win it Christmas

Have you entered the Poundland Christmas "Pin it to win it" competition to win £200 of vouchers??
Click the picture below to see my entry on Pinterest.

T&C's here.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Breastfeeding is NOT always best and bribery will not change my mind!!!

A subject that has raised almost as much controversy as penisbeekergate  (funny really when you think that's where this all started).

In case you haven't seen the news story today  there is a new scheme being trialled in which mums will receive £200 of high street vouchers if they breastfeed their baby.

The pilot scheme involves 130 mums.  if they breastfeed their baby for 2 days they get £40 of shopping vouchers, continue for 10 days they get another £40....manage 6 weeks that's another £40.  If mummy has preserved for 3 months she will be rewarded with another £40 and finally £40 will be given at the 6 month mark.

There is no mention as to whether expressing milk counts as breastfeeding in this scheme, I am assuming it doesn't for the purpose of this blog post.

Tuneful Tuesday - The Love Is Gone from Muppets Christmas Carol

Have dug out my copy of The Muppets Christmas Carol and re-watched it (yay).

absolutely love the song "The Love is Gone", it is soo sad yet soo deep.  I find singing it just reminds me of past loves (and lusts) and does make me wonder if my life would be any different if I had married one of them.

Out of all the tunes in the film it is the one that makes it for me (a bit like colours of the wind from Pocahontas  so in a new feature called "Tuneful Tuesday" I am sharing the lyrics and a link to a youtube clip to the song (this has been selected at random and is not sponsored or hosted by me).

If you have a song that holds memories or that you simply want to share with other people let me know, I may just feature it.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Meal Planning and Shopping w/b 8th November 2013

To start this week I did a large inventory of what was in the fridge/ freezer/ cupboards and tried to base my weeks meals around this as much as possible.  There have been a few bits I had to buy but I managed to keep this to less then £20.  Milk seems to be the most expense this week as we are drinking a lot more hot drinks with the current weather.

If you've been following my food shopping highs and lows you'll know my husband is very picky.  This stretches to the fact that unless we are having 'family meals' he will not be told what to eat on what day.  There is no point me telling him what to cook for the kids on certain days as history has shown he does not stick to it.

So my new meal plan format is as below (in no particular order).  If he chooses to have something different that he has found in the house (e.g. toasties) that's fair enough so long as it doesn't involve having to buy anything more.

Sparkly, Poppy, Rocky Road bites

If you've been reading a while you'll remember I posted Nigella Lawson's recipe for Rocky Road in my "Blog A Day September" challenge.   No.... well you can read it here.... or carry on reading for this weeks version.....

Now I'm not normally one to mess with a recipe.... in fact I'm the sort that if my muffins aren't cooked in the time the recipe says I panic as to what I've done wrong.

But with Nigella's Rocky Road I am all for playing and tweaking to get it just right.....

Silent Sunday 10.11.13


Cbeebies Christmas Panto 2013

When I heard that Cbeebies were coming to Sheffield to film their Christmas panto I immediately applied for tickets ...... along with hundreds of other people.  We didn't win any :(  this did not phase us tho.

Saturday morning I served the boys a hearty continental breakfast (ok ok the bread needing eating up) which they loved to begin 'treat day', 

At 10.45 we set off at to catch the tram to town in thick jumpers and woolly socks.  By 10.50 we were back to get kitted out in woolly hats, scarves and gloves, where has this cold spell suddenly come from?  Off we set again.

The events that follow take place over both the Saturday and Sunday but for continuity have been posted as one.

Saturday, 9 November 2013

To-do list 8th-14th November

Another hectic week, another week of no real blogging,  a bit of networking tho with #bloghour over on Twitter with UK Blog Awards and a fantastic chat with other parent bloggers (#pbloggers) on The Toadstools/ Marbel's Brio chat.

Moving day is getting closer..... 14 days and counting and I've........... made my lists, contacted some people (lots of blanket letters still to wright but as I've got my re-direction in for a year I'm not massively concerned).

My last (hopefully) meeting with the estate agents really wound me up - and they then added fuel to the fire by not bothering to reply to my e-mail i sent them yesterday.    Roll on getting the keys on the 23rd then I won't have to talk to them again for another 18 months (see my post here).

I've had some sad news this week that a virtual friend has passed away :( and had to break the news to some other virtual friends (post here) .  It may mean a couple of nights off blogging/ tweeting while I stitch my memorial.

So onto my to-do list for this week............

A post for my MSE friends.

If you followed me over on MoneySavingExpert you'll know I've not been around for a while.  I keep an eye on my babies (the threads I started/ actively participated on) to make sure everyone is still going well on their projects and love talking to those who are now facebook friends.

I rarely have time to read threads in their entirety and post on them since my blogging took over my life (lol). My diary was the most amazing start to my blogging and I am so grateful for everyone who followed it.

Friday, 8 November 2013

Photo A Day - November 2013 - week 1 (1st November to 7th November)

The main thread can be found here.  This page would soon get overcrowded tho so at the end of each week I will be moving them over onto their own post.

So here is week 1 - 1st to 7th November

2 adults, 2 children, 4 weeks ..... £200 challenge - the sequel

Brrrr October already.
With the September challenge over it seems wrong to call this the October challenge (as it goes into November)... hence "The Great Food Challenge - the sequel".

I have decided that this month, although I am aiming for a £200 (or less) spend over the next 4 weeks I will do a 'big shop' as and when it is required.  We are trying to run the freezers down ready for defrosting (and potentially moving in the beginning of December) so this sounds the way to go.

I'm only having 2 categories this month tho - food and drink.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

when your day just gets better and better ........ a hatrick (that's 3 right?!)

You know those days when you are only 2 hours into it and wish you could go back to bed........ but instead the day just keeps on getting better...............
............well today was one of them (in case you ever guessed by my twitter feed/ Blundell's post).

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Book review - You Are The Love Of My Life. Susan Richards Shreve

You Are The Love Of My Life
 by: Susan Richards Shreve

It's 1973 and the Watergate scandal is on everyone's lips.  Lucy Painter, a children's book illustrator and single mother of two (Maggie and Felix) leaves New York and the married father of her children to return to Washington DC, to the neighbourhood where she grew up and the house where her father committed suicide.  

Monday, 4 November 2013

Legoland Discovery Centre, Manchester

Ben is absolutely Lego obsessed - the PS3 games, the toy itself and the latest addition to his set the Creationary game.... last year we took him to the 'real Legoland' in Windsor (Grandma's treat) and a fantastic time was had by all.  This year (thanks to Tesco Clubcard) we decided to take him and his little brother to the Legoland Discovery Centre in Manchester staying in a local Premier Inn next to the Trafford Centre on the Friday night beforehand.

Legoland Discovery Centre, Manchester