Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Happy New Year 2009

Happy New Year to one and all. May 2009 bring you lots of good times the whole year through.

I have a few resolutions for 2009... to use the things I save for best on a regular day to day basis, to empty my life of the things I do not need, and to REALLY live my very lovely life!

To my boys - we know the rules, it's up to us how to play and break them...!

Saturday, 27 December 2008

Before Christmas is completely over I had to post these pics...

A Marks and Spencers plain round fruit cake which Little made a banner to go round, I put marzipan and icing on and then we topped with Christmas candles, again from M&S. I'm just not a fruit cake maker, or eater truth be told... but the banner has been folded carefully and will be taken home and treasured by my stepdad (this was one his Christmas presents) and made me realise ever more that it's the small things which matter and not the extravagant.

Hope everyone has had a very happy Christmas.

Saturday, 20 December 2008

Woolworths Original Pic N Mix and Children can self regulate...

Buy it while you can...

If I'm with you - you can put what you like in your bag.. but only if it's Christmas! Which brings me nicely to my point that children can self regulate. Yesterday I told you we were off to Woolies and that I was going to let the children choose whatever they wanted sweetwise. Below shows the contents of their Pic N Mix bags... Admittedly they didn't just get Pic N Mix but they didn't go too mad!!

This one belongs to Little, despite getting it yesterday he's still got more than half left.

This one belongs to Small, same thing with regards to having half left.
Buy The Original Woolworths Pic N Mix while you can..

I'm always sentimental BUT THEN... I get over it..

Friday, 19 December 2008

One home, one to go... I am so excited!

Small has just finished school, just waiting for Little (who finishes in 42 minutes) and then the festivities REALLY can begin...

I'm going to take them straight to Woolworths (while we can) where I'm going to let them choose lots and lots of sweet things (chocolate, biscuits, sweets, whatever they want). We can then come home and fill up all of the little bowls, pots and tins which are dotted around the place and from then on... have the dentist on standby... Such a good bad mother. Come on... it's Christmas!

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Charity Shop Finds and some Christmas Pictures

Decorations and dressing your table up doesn't have to be expensive. I just bought this little silver cup at the St Catherine's Hospice shop,
added a tea light and a piece of gingham ribbon and I think it looks great.

I'll add a few more charity shop finds soon, in the meantime here's some pictures of Christmas at our house.
The tree, topped with a star that I helped Little and Small make. A great activity for children, we also made other smaller decorations.
I'll post about it in time for when they break up from school.

The drummer. Hubs and I saw a mini drum kit in town today... We were tempted... but came to our senses. Must remember to stay away from the music shop!
The festive spirit can sometimes take over, rendering you completely without brain.

Christmas wouldn't be complete without a little Disney.

Poor fairy has lost her hand since last year. Small wanted us to bandage it...
You can just about see the iron, bottom righthand corner. At some point I'll put it away.

Simple black bells from Ikea, tied with pretty ribbon.

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

The Cabbage Soup Diet & Chocolate Bread Pudding

Not two things you could eat in the same week... The cabbage soup diet, also known as the Mayo Clinic Diet, or the Sacred Heart Memorial hospital diet... No institute wants to take claim of this diet. It is a fad and it works because your calorie intake is so greatly reduced you'd have to be really in touch with your inner sloth not to lose weight on it.

Basically a homemade vegetable soup that you make vast quantities of and eat every day for a week. On top of this, day one you eat fruit, day two you eat veg but no fruit, day three you eat fruit and veg, day four you eat bananas and drink skimmed milk but no fruit or veg and only the soup, day five you introduce chicken or beef and veg, day six you have chicken or beef and veg, day seven you eat brown rice, veg and drink unsweetened fruit juice...

It's a ball I tell you. By day four I was ready to pass out when I woke in the morning. A few bananas later and I resolved to stick with it. I lost 10lbs by the end of the week. Great.... whoopdeeedooo, I was overjoyed but now I'm p'd off with myself for feeling the need to take such drastic measures and why can't I just show some restraint and eat sensibly... Or why can't I be happy with my curves, I go in and out in the right places, a boob job might put me in proportion more being pear shaped but I'm not going there. I mean do the likes of Julia from A Slice of Cherry Pie actually eat all the gorgeous things they make? Julia you're so thin, how do you do it? Actually I don't want to know because I'll feel like a failure if the answer is it's your genes or that you're sensible for 5 days out of 7. I don't really agree with slimming diets and yet there I found myself feeling mighty fine as the weight fell off me. Like most teenagers I succumbed to a little eating disorder for a few years, until I got a life that is. So I do know how dangerously addictive the whole weight loss thing can be, to fall into the trap of thinking that skinny = sexy.

So for a really low fat and healthy recipe here's one for chocolate bread pudding. Not the milky bread pudding that you eat warm, the cold bread pudding that is heavy and you eat slices of it like cake.

Chocolate Bread Pudding (or how to gain back the 10lbs you lost quickly pudding...)

12 thick slices of stale bread, white, brown, a mixture of the two, you choose.
a large handful of raisins
a large handful of sultanas (if you like them or up the raisins)
75-100g light brown sugar, or white if that's all you've got
350ml milk
1 egg - beaten
one bar of good quality dark chocolate (70% cocoa), broken into pieces
Optional half a teaspoon of cinnamon or mixed spice

Break the bread into small pieces and place in a large bowl
Cover with half of the milk and mix until the bread is coated
Leave to stand for 15 mins.
Pre-heat the oven to approx 175C
In the meantime melt the chocolate, then add to the rest of the milk and add the beaten egg
Mix this chocolate, milk, egg mix to the bread and milk
Add the sugar and dried fruit and mix well, sprinkle in a teaspoon of mixed spice or cinnamon if you like.
Place in an ovenproof bowl and cook in the oven for about 50 mins
If it is set after this time, take it out and sprinkle with a small handful of sugar

Sorry I can't be more specific but it's done to taste really. Sometimes I add more sugar, sometimes more fruit. I don't usually add more milk and if I do then it takes longer to cook. This is really good but it doesn't beat traditional bread pudding, though it might if you didn't grow up eating thick slices of bread pudding. I think it still knocks spots off bread and butter pudding which I'm not that keen on.

Monday, 1 December 2008

Star Wars Galactic Heroes Millenium Falcon

If anybody knows where I can get a Star Wars Galactic Heroes Millenium Falcon from I would really appreciate you letting me know.... It's not the huge expensive £150.00 one. It's the smaller RRP £40.00 one which Argos very kindly decided to sell at half price and the great Martin's Money Saving Tips decided to let the whole world know about... Now they're going for upwards of £50.00 plus P&P on ebay. Why or why don't we buy our presents in the Summer and spend the months of November and December with our feet up making pretty decorations to adorn our calm and relaxed homes!!!

I've trawled the internet... I've phoned - The Entertainer, Hamleys, Harrods, Selfridges, John Lewis, Peter Jones, local toy shops, you name it - I've spoken to them.

p.s. it's not for me - I'm very fortunate in having one of these little beauties but only because a few weeks ago my friend very kindly held one on order for me at a shop a few miles away. She now needs one and I'm now in the horrible position of knowing that I have something she really wants and feel I have to find one or do I give her the one I have... But then Little will be upset because that's what he said he wanted when we first started talking about Christmas lists back in the summer right after his birthday. Aaarrrghhhhhhh!!!!!! Please - if you can help...


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