Monday, 4 September 2017

Menu Plan for week commencing 4th September 2017

Well it is back to school week with Matthew starting high school tomorrow. I can't quite believe I no longer have any children in primary school. How time has flown. I am looking forward to getting back to a normal routine with everything that happened over the summer. It has been a struggle to do a menu plan this week as I am so out of practice.

On the menu this week:
Monday: Spaghetti Carbonara
Tuesday: Chicken Quesadillas
Wednesday: Steak, Slimming World Chips, Mushrooms and Salad
Thursday: Hunters Chicken and vegetables
Friday: Jacket potato and salad 

Right now I am:
Putting name tags on all of Matthew's uniform pieces. He has been practicing how to tie his tie all weekend as he has never had to wear one before.

On my crafting pile:
I need to finish off the advent calendar panels for my nephews. I have done the complicated bit with the folds and so just have to put the back panel on.

On my reading list:
My boss lent me a book 'Into the Water' by Paula Hawkins who also wrote 'The Girl on the Train'. It is a little different to the books I have been reading lately so it will make a change.

Watching on TV:
So glad 'Victoria' is back. It is the perfect way to round off the weekend whilst doing the ironing.

I hope everybody has a good week and a good summer.


Saturday, 26 August 2017

August 2017- What has happened,

I have to admit I am glad this month is over. It has been an extremely difficult month and very emotional for us as a family as my brother in law died unexpectedly at the beginning of the month. It has been made worse by the fact that cause of death has not yet been established and it was 3 weeks before we could have the funeral. Craig took the death rather badly as he was the one who found him and he blames himself for not making his brother get help sooner. I am not going to go into detail because it is a personal family matter but my brother in law had demons to contend with and unfortunately they got the better of him.  His death really hit every one hard and I have been trying my best to keep home life as normal as possible for the kids but also for Craig to help him come to terms with everything. I have also been having to deal with some of the more practical arrangements that need to be done when somebody dies as the rest of the family relied on Craig to sort everything out and there were times when it was too difficult for him.
In remembrance of his brother Craig got his very first tattoo. His brothers, sister and girlfriend also got Superman themed tattoos as well.

Stephen was an extremely funny man who missed his calling in life. His funeral was attended by over 400 people and the family were determined that there was going to be as much laughter as possible as that is what Stephen would have wanted, and there was certainly that. I had a lot of comments saying that it was the best funeral people had been to which I know sounds terrible but in my opinion a funeral should be a celebration of the life and Stephen was the entertainer and comedian in everyone’s  life which was reflected in the funeral and the wake afterwards. I was lucky that one of the guys I work with is an artist and cartoonist and I asked him to do the front cover of the Order of Service with Stephen as Superman flying over Old Trafford Football Ground. These were his two main passions and you could not say anything bad about either  Christopher Reeve as Superman or Manchester United in front of him.

Stephen’s death was also hard on Emma and Matthew. I was thankful that Emma went away on the Sunday that he died for 2 weeks.  She went to Cyprus with her boyfriend and his family. She sent this picture of the view from a restaurant she ate at to make us jealous. It helped having something to distract her.

 For Matthew it was his first experience of death and he was upset at the time he found out and at the funeral. He renamed his most powerful Pokemon, Stephen, in tribute to his Uncle.  
To try and cheer him up we went to Cadbury World. I have been a number of times when I was teaching but this was the 1st time I had taken Matthew. We also took my niece who’s birthday wasn’t quite as she had hoped because of what happened. Both of them absolutely loved it. I loved the free chocolate you got (though it didn’t do any good for my weight loss) but a lot hadn’t changed from when I went the last time and the bits that had weren’t as good in my opinion.. The 4D experience was fantastic though and on a par with anything Disney could offer and that was my favourite  part.  Videos and photos are not allowed during the tour and experience so memories are all we have except for these photos I took outside.

I haven’t really felt creative this month but I did go to the WI craft club and we made fabric bookmarks. As soon as I saw this fabric I just knew that I had to make them for the kids.

Now that the funeral is over and there is nothing more to be done I am hoping to be able to get to be more crafty and back into a routine for blogging. have loads of projects that I want to do, the most important thing being 2 advent calendars for my nephews. I need to get them done by the middle of September as my Mum is going to visit and I am hoping she will take them over to save postage but also I will know they have got there.

I am rather looking forward to September, a visit to Legoland, the start of the new school year, mine and Matthew's birthdays and it always feels like a fresh start for me so bring it on.

Thursday, 27 July 2017

The Doctor Who Experience

This was my 3rd visit to the Doctor Who Experience and probably my last as it is closing at some point in September this year. It was very different from my last visit which was on a cold Monday afternoon in March 2013. That time, Matt Smith was the Doctor and there was only one other person on the Tour with me. It was almost like having a private tour that time.

This time it was definitely a lot busier and it seems like most of the tour time slots were full. There were plenty of Cybermen walking around for photo opportunities. Thankfully none of them were looking to upgrade people visiting tho)ugh there were opportunities to be voluntarily upgraded but tickets for that sold out pretty quickly.

The tour is partly interactive and partly exhibition. The interactive part involves the finding of crystals whilst coming up against some of the Doctors greatest enemies. I remember how one little boys face was in awe when we were in the TARDIS and it started moving.  The exhibits are the largest part and the area for photos.  There were various TARDIS sets from different Doctors, Costumes worn by the Doctors and some of the companions, the Doctors enemies, obviously, as well as some of the iconic props from series 10.

 There is also an opportunity to have your photo taken on a green scene and choose from 8 different backgrounds. I did not partake this time as I still love the one I had done last time and also the queue was much too long and the others did not have the patience to wait.

You can spend as long as you want in the exhibition centre but the average length of time is a couple of hours which is plenty of time to look at everything and get the photos you want. It’s a shame it is closing as the props and costumes are fascinating and even now I cannot get over how tiny Jenna Coleman must be looking at her outfits. Hopefully it will re-open in a few years with a whole bunch of new props from the new Doctor as well as more props from the classic series.

Whilst in Cardiff you can also undertake a walking tour of the outdoor locations used in Doctor Who but you don’t need to wander very far to see some of them, Cardiff Bay has been used in relation to episodes which featured Captain Jack and Torchwood with David Tennant . The Millennium Centre was the Hospital on New Earth, again with David Tennant and Billie Piper. If you walk over a little further to Mermaid Quay, you will find Eddie’s  Diner which is the Diner in which the 11th Doctor met River, Rory and Amy when he knew he was going to die. It was also the Spaceship that Clara went off to travel with Me. Booth 11 is the booth that the Doctor, River, Rory and Amy sat at and it is marked with a couple of photos from the time they were filming. You can also still see the doors to the Tardis if you look right at the back.

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

What I have been doing 10th -23rd July 2017

It has been a busy week with some unexpected early morning excitement thrown in. Monday was Quilting club where I continued on with my hexagon flowers for my bed quilt. I managed to complete a whole flower again. I had intended on starting one of the advent calendar panels for my nephews but did not really fancy lugging my sewing machine to the club plus I was cannot get there for the start of the club so there are generally no plug sockets for me anyway. I could do them at home I suppose, but they will have to be finished in 2 months as my Mum is going over to Australia to visit my sister, brother in law and nephews.
On Tuesday it was the monthly WI meeting which was a week late due to the hall having a long standing booking on the evening of our monthly meeting. We had 2 cute visitors called Percy and Beryl who kindly brought  along their owner from Manchester Dogs Home to give us a talk about what they do and of course the dreadful fire in 2014.

Wednesday morning started rather early and unexpectedly when we were awoken by the sound of an engine running. Normally I don’t hear things like that but the engine was revved a little when it was started. Craig got up to look out of the window expecting to see a taxi but instead saw two men loading a motorbike onto the back of a van. Craig shot downstairs and opened the front door and shouted out. The two men ran off leaving the van and the bike. Craig took the keys out of the van, and tried to see where they had gone. Another neighbour across the road had also heard the noise and had come out. Whilst Craig was inside calling the police and putting a top and shoes on, I stood at the door talking to the neighbour. Would you believe it, but one of the thieves came back hoping to take the van, but as soon as he saw us he ran off again. The police arrived after 20 minutes and took details and did what they had to do. By the time they had finished it was nearly 5.00am and it wasn’t worth going to back to bed.

Matthew said he had heard the noise but didn’t come out of his room as he was too comfy in bed. He also complained of feeling dizzy and sick. I felt really guilty sending him into school but when he has said this before he has been fine. This is the downside of being a working mum-the guilt when your child says they don’t feel well but you have very little choice but to send them into school anyway. I had a bad feeling when Matthew phoned me as he got to school as he was a bit weepy saying that he still felt ill. I told him to get a drink and see how he feels. Anyway to cut it short, 20 minutes after school started I got a phone call from the school saying he had been sick and could I come and get him. Luckily, my boss is pretty understanding and because my job could be done pretty much anywhere when I am not required to train someone, I worked from home for the rest of the day.
Thursday and Friday were pretty uneventful with just normal routine things.

Saturday was another early start (4.30am) as we were going to be driving 4 hours down to Cardiff  to go to the Doctor Who Experience before it closed in September. It has been a few years since I last went and it was certainly a lot busier. I will write a whole blog post on the day. If oyu do get the chance then go to visit before it closes. We also had a walk around Cardiff Bay which was being turned into a beach for the summer and also down to the Barrage where we watched the boats going up and down in the lock. Before we left we ate at Eddie's Diner which was where they filmed the Diner scene in the episode where River kills the Doctor. We were lucky enough as well to sit in the booth that they all sat in as well.

Sunday was just a lazy day as we got back about 11.00pm the night before and I needed to catch up with some housework and especially the ironing.

Next week is going to be all about Matthew as it is his last week in primary school and there are loads of things going on.

Monday, 17 July 2017

Menu Plan for week Commencing 17th July

This week on the menu we have:

Monday- Slow cooker Irish stew
Tuesday: Curried Mince beef and rice
Wednesday- Steak and salad
Thursday- Pan Haggerty (a potato and onion dish with ham) from Slimming World
Friday- Quorn Bolognese (Emma's friend is coming round and she is a vegetarian)
Saturday -Eat out in Cardiff
Sunday -Spinach, tomato and red pepper cannelloni.

In the Craft Basket.

I recently bought 2 craft kits from The Range and thought I would at least do one this week.

On my Reading List.

I watched a couple of episodes of the TV series when it was on last year but missed the first one 'Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death' so I thought I would get the book. Whilst searching for it online I saw that the Book People were doing all 20 books for £19.99 so rather than pay £7.99 for the one I bought the whole series. This book is the 9th of the series and I have enjoyed the others. They are light and easy to read and unlike some other books the culprit is not obvious. 

I am looking forward to:

Going to the Doctor Who Experience  in Cardiff on Saturday with the family, especially now we know who the next Doctor is going to be. I had a feeling it was going to be a woman especially with how well 'Missy' was received. Although I liked Jodie Whittaker in Broadchurch it will be interesting to see her in a VERY different role. With the previous Doctors I had not seen them in anything else so I had no other characters to compare them to ( I know Peter Capaldi was in an episode of Doctor Who, but that was just a one off).
It will be a long day as we will plan on leaving about 6.00am as the time slot I have booked is 11.30am. This should be plenty of time but you can never tell with the motorways, even on a Saturday.

Quote of the Week
Where the Soul finds comfort
and the heart finds pleasure
                                         Dolly Parton

I will be linking up with Organising Junkie and Happy Homemaker Monday with Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom.

Hope you all have a good week.


Sunday, 16 July 2017

Diary for Week 10th-16th July 2017

This week hasn’t been too bad and quite enjoyable for me as there were fun things to do. Monday was the Craft club at the WI I go to. I will admit that there are times the project the group is doing does not appeal to me so I always take a little project of my own that I can work on. This session though was felt brooch making so I thought I would join in. I had an idea of the design but then when I saw an earring that could be used for the centrepiece I completely changed my mind on the whole design. The brooch was simple to make as it just involved cutting out the felt, sewing the brooch fastener on the back piece then because the black piece had a sticky back I just peeled the backing off and stuck it down. The next piece and the centre piece were then glued. The little sheep brooch I did cheat with as it was already made up so all I had to do was sew the brooch fastener on.

We got Matthews SATs results on Tuesday and he passed them all so as a reward we went to Krispy Kreme and then to see Despicable Me 3 at the cinema. I love the Minions and because of that I enjoyed the film.

Wednesday was another trip to the cinema (a bit further away from home). This time it was to see ‘Spiderman-Homecoming’. I definitely thought it was the best Spiderman film I have seen and what made it even more enjoyable was the fact that the cinema screen had recently been refurbished and all the seats were recliners with little movable trays for you to put your snacks on. I will definitely be going to that cinema again especially if all the screens are going to be refurbished.

On Thursday I had to catch up with the ironing and make chocolate brownies for the Wimbledon lunch we were having on Friday at work. Unfortunately I didn’t get round to making the brownies until 9.30pm as Craig had asked the local councillor to visit to see the trees that we would like to be cut back as they are getting too big and we have had a few branches fall and break the shed roof. She is going to see what can be done and is going to push to get the whole area cleared and turfed as it is a little bit further down the street. That would be brilliant and look so much better.

The Wimbledon lunch did not take place as planned as I was the only person who brought anything in so it was business as usual. Friday evening I was feeling pretty tired so we just watched  The Fast and Furious which I wasn’t overly interested in.
My plans for Saturday did not come off completely as I wanted to do a Zone clean in the back and front rooms but as usual Craig had other ideas so they did not get done. I did manage to order the food shopping to be picked up on Sunday however so that I didn’t have to worry about not having time to get that done.
On Sunday we took Emma to get her own DSLR camera which she is paying for out of the money that she has saved. We ended up with a really good deal even though it ended up costing us more than we anticipated. Craig has this habit of wanting to get everything all at once when it comes to gadgets so she has 3 lenses, 2 camera filters and the accessories bundle that you get for ½ price if you purchase it with the camera.
Craig and I then had a canal cruise along the Bridgewater Canal  and Manchester Ship Canal from Castlefield to Salford Quays. It was a very pleasant meal but I have to admit if I was to do a canal cruise again I would go somewhere more scenic as we saw mainly graffiti and brick walls.

So all in all a pretty enjoyable week with lots of fun things but I do need to spend the rest of the month catching up with housework and doing some zone cleaning so that I can stay calm and happy.

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Skinny Coffee Club review

Although I have been in my target range at Slimming World for 6 months I am at the top end of the range and I would rather be at the lower. Unfortunately I seem to be stuck at the top end. I had seen loads of posts on Facebook and heard people talking about Skinny Coffee so through desperation I decided to give it a go.

I bought the 28 day programme from Holland and Barrett. When I opened the box all there was inside it was the packet of coffee. I was surprised to see there was no suggested diet plan with it or even a sheet giving suggestions on what else you could do to help you lose weight as there seems to be with any other diet related product.

I suppose this was better in a way because any suggested diet plan if followed could result in a weight loss and it would be impossible to tell if it was the diet or the coffee or the combination. I decided that as I was already following the Slimming World plan it would at least be a review of the coffee as I knew the plan did work as I had already lost weight.

The coffee is meant to be drunk in the morning and to be taken black without any added sweetness. I have to admit I drink my coffee milky and with 1 sugar added so I wasn’t looking forward to having to drink it black. I was very pleasantly surprised though as the flavour is very mild and not at all bitter and I enjoyed drinking it.

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to follow the plan for the 28 days as I ran out of coffee after 16 days despite using the recommended amount. I also stuck to the Slimming World plan for those days. Did I lose weight? NO.

 After looking at Facebook comments it seems that if you purchase the coffee through the website then you are emailed a diet and exercise plan which it seems requires you to cut out dairy and sugar. By following that plan then you would lose weight anyway without drinking the coffee so I would save the money by not purchasing the coffee and find a diet plan which is balanced and does not require you to cut out food groups without getting medical advice. However if you do like drinking a mild tasting black coffee and having the extra energy from the high levels of caffeine then by all means pay the £24.95 for the programme,  but personally I would rather spend the money on a new top or skirt.

This is not a sponsored post and I have received no payment of any kind for this review.