Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Visit to the Black Country Living Museum

Over the Bank Holiday weekend Craig, Matthew and I visited the Black Country Living Museum near Birmingham. It is a place I have wanted to go to for a while as I love finding out how people used to live. I like the fact that there was a proper community spirit with people knowing everybody around them. I don't even know 1/2 of the people who live on my street.

Although I wouldn't have wanted to live in those times I think in some ways they may have been simpler as there were less distractions and definitely less choice in everything. I sometimes wish we had less choice nowadays and that we weren't constantly bombarded with advertising, news, TV programmes that are a 'must watch' and food.

Life in the concrete house depicting life during World War 2.

I am glad we no longer have to black lead these.

 No supermarkets back then.

Getting a bit more modern in the kitchen with an electric oven

Built in shopping list and inventory Genius idea!

Girls being told off at school for wearing nail polish

Beautiful needlework

I hope to pay another visit to the museum nearer Christmas and the beauty is that the admission price you pay the first time you visit means that you are then able to make as many visits as you want within a year without paying again. If I lived closer then I would probably be there at least once a month.

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Menu Plan (29th August 2016)

Wow, it'[s Tuesday already. The Bank Holiday really threw me for which day of the week it is . Anyway better late than never with this weeks menu plan. I am not holding out much hope to sticking to this as we didn't really last week due to all too common last minute change of plans by the other members of the family.

Monday - ended up having Chinese take away.
Tuesday - only me eating so Slimming World Ready meal that I keep for days such as this.
Wednesday - Tacos
Thursday- Steak and Chips
Friday- Tex Mex Omelette Wrap
Saturday - Slimming World Bacon Double Cheeseburger
Sunday - Sweet Potato Curry and Rice.

I know it isn't the most exciting menu plan but Craig and Emma are out Tuesday and all weekend and most days Matthew will have eaten at his Aunties.

Roll on next week when they are back in school and college and things can get back to normal.

Linking up with Organising Junkie to see what everyone else is cooking and to get inspiration for next week.

Have a good week.


Friday, 26 August 2016

Box Sets- Heaven or Hell

Box sets are a great invention but also the worst thing ever. Box sets allow you to watch series that you may have missed or re-watch old series that are no longer on TV. But they also encourage binge watching as you know that you don’t have to wait a week to find out what happens next. This can be really useful if you have a busy life as most of us do and a lot of people now watch TV this way. Craig and the kids have got into this way of watching so much that we have downgraded our TV package and upgraded our broadband.

I have recently fallen under the spell of box sets as I discovered Nashville. There are only 4 seasons with 22 episodes in each and after 2 weeks I am already on episode 4 of Season 2. I have to say Deacon reminds me of Hugh Jackman but a better singer.

Last night was a prime example of how you can get sucked into the ‘box set binge watch’. I had intended on doing some sewing on my machine and clean my bathroom. I made the mistake of thinking that I would just watch one episode after finishing dinner. Instead 4  hours later I was still sat in front of the TV and had watched 4 episodes. The dishes hadn’t been loaded into the dishwasher, I hadn’t got my sewing machine out and although the bathroom had been cleaned it only happened because I had to walk one of Matthew’s friends home and made the decision when I got back that the bathroom had to be done. At 10.30pm I was posting photos on the WI page that I am responsible for that really should have gone up a lot earlier.

I think that when you are watching a box set there should be an automatic shut off after 2 episodes so that you then don't feel guilty about sitting in front of the TV when you should really be doing something more productive.

What do you think about box sets?

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Our Week In Whitby

We spent a week in Whitby with Craig’s family last week for our holiday. We have all been to Whitby before and it is a place I enjoy going to. We booked into a cottage which turned out to be a 3 bedroom Victorian terrace house which was not what I was expecting as when I think of a cottage I think of one of the little fishermen cottages that are tucked away up little passages which we have stayed in before. We had the terrace as Craig’s brother was with us and because of the stroke he had nearly 2 years ago he would not have been able to manage the stairs. The house the others were in had a downstairs bedroom and bathroom which was a lot more suitable for him.

Whitby is a good place to explore with lots of things to do whether you are interested in history, with the Abbey, and interest in Vampires and Dracula, Walking (lots of walking and hills) or just good old seaside fun there is something to appeal to every one of every age.

Whitby Abbey
Craig, Emma, Matthew and my nieces Tara and Libby

We were quite lucky with the weather as although it was breezy it stayed dry most of the time which for me is fine as I am not a fan of heat. I am also not really a fan of sand and sea but I don’t mind it over here. My least favourite holidays have been beach based holidays abroad. I would much rather be seeing the sights and doing things instead of lying on the beach doing nothing.

It was my niece’s birthday whilst we were there and it was her choice of what everyone should do that day. She decided to start off doing some painting of pottery at Doodlepots. All the kids painted something and I decided to join in as well rather than just sit there for a couple of hours so I painted a jug to go with the sugar bowl and milk jug I had done last time.

After that was a boat trip which I avoided as I get sea sick on a pedalo so I waited with the scooter we had hired for Jason (Craig’s brother). Luckily it was only 20 minutes long

We then tried to go into a diner for dinner but unfortunately is was rather busy and they weren’t able to accommodate such a large group in one go (there was 11 of us). We had to take a picture because of the name and Emma does want to own a cafe or diner one day.

Although there is plenty to do in Whitby we decided to spread our wings and see some other places. Craig’s Mum is a fan of Heartbeat so we went to Goathland which is where Heartbeat was filmed. Whilst her and her husband explored Craig, Emma and I followed the trail to Mallyan Spout and Beck Hole
The In-Laws in Goathland

Hedwig's alive and Emma managed to hold him

Mallyan Spout

We also chose the best day to go to Scarborough and Matthew went in the sea, something he hasn’t been able to do to much before as the weather has either been too cold or we haven’t been near a beach since he has a toddler.
Scarborough Harbour with the castle on top of the hill

On the last day we did the Curse of the Whitby Vampire trail which is like a treasure hunt where you walk around solving clues. These can be downloaded from  There are several available for Whitby but we chose this one because the kids like vampires.  The trail is a good way of exploring  and  is ideal if you have never been somewhere  before as they take in a few of the main attractions. Some of the clues are quite easy to solve, some a bit harder, especially those where you have to find information of plaques as a few have become faded and difficult to read.  At the end you can go online, enter your answer and unique code. If you are correct you can download a certificate and get the chance to be entered into a monthly draw to win £100.

You end up at the church at the top of the 199 steps for the final two clues. One of the things Jason had wanted to do was to go up the 199 steps by himself. Obviously everyone was a bit concerned about this but he was determined and to his credit he achieved it. Everyone was so proud and hopefully it will give Jason a boost as he has had rather a bumpy journey emotionally as well as physically since the stroke. He has no movement in his left arm and although he can walk he is unable to walk long distances and on uneven ground.

We had a really good time in Whitby and we hope to be able to visit again in a couple of years time. It is a great place for families and there is certainly plenty to do for everyone.

Monday, 22 August 2016

Menu Plan (22nd August 2016)

Thankfully a quieter week than normal this week, I am only out tonight. I haven't done any menu planning for a while as they weren't being stuck to and all routines just seemed to go out of the window the last couple of months.

Hopefully now we are back off our holiday then I can get back on plan and back into routines. The kids don't go back to school for another couple of weeks so I am not going to be too rigid with these meals, but my aim is this week to plan meals and make sure they get eaten at some point, hence not putting them against specific days.

So therefore, the meals for this week are

  • Chicken, bacon and avocado club sandwich
  • Steak Stir fry
  • Sticky pork steaks with cous cous and salad
  • Fajitas
  • Stuffed and wrapped turkey breast with steamed vegetables
  • Steamed cod, slimming world chips and mushy peas.
As it is the Bank Holiday weekend coming up, we are planning on going to the Black Country Living Museum. I don't know what time we will be back so I think that evening will be pretty much lets see what we fancy.

Linking up with Organising Junkie

Hope you all have a good week.