Friday, 28 January 2022

This week my Word of the Week is: Watching! #WotW

This week my Word of the Week is:

Watching

I really don't know what I have done with the past week. It has been one of just plodding on with life and not much going on. The kids have been to school and college, Stu to work and I have been pottering around at home. The weather has been rubbish and so cold. It has had me in such a grump so I thought the only way to cheer myself up is to escape and watch plenty of TV. It has worked, I am feeling much better with myself now.

We had a fun night on Saturday watching TV. It's a proper family night on the week that Becky isn't at work. We always guess along with the Masked Singer which of course causes arguments but it's all in fun. We then watch Ant and Dec's Limitless Win. I have seen a lot of people on Twitter are not fans but it is a good show to watch as a family, we all play along.

Sunday night TV is the best now. We love Dancing on Ice, Call the Midwife and I watched the first episode of Trigger Point. It had been advertised loads so I didn't expect it to live up to the hype but it did! I loved it and can't wait to watch more.

On a Monday Becky and I record Geordie Hospital to watch later. It follows the staff and some patients in the Newcastle hospitals which is very interesting for us as we've spent time in both the Freemans and the RVI. We saw the ward where the girls spent a week when they had their open heart surgery and recognise so much of the hospital. 

It got to that point where I seem to have watched all that I want on Netflix and my subscription is up at the end of this week so I decided to go back to Disney Plus. I had a few nice surprises when I logged into my account. This is Us is on Disney now, I thought it was just an Amazon show, people rave about it so I have started watching and I am loving it so far. I have obviously heard about the film Encanto but didn't realise it was free to watch. Ellie and I are planning to watch it tonight and the same goes for the Marvel film Eternals and Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. Stu has seen them and said they're not amazing but they're worth a watch. I still have half of Loki to watch and all of Hawkeye too so that should keep me occupied for a while.

I am sat here now watching Classic episodes of Coronation Street that I have been recording, all the way back from Christmas 1999! Some of it I remember watching but there is a lot I have forgotten about like Leanne Battersby taking drugs. I knew she was in with one of the bad guys but the drug part of it slipped my mind. I miss the likes of Mike Baldwin and Fred Elliot, he was funny.

What have you been watching on TV?

Word of the Week

Thursday, 27 January 2022

20 ways to avoid winter colds and bugs.

It's that time of year when we all get colds. Becky had a stonker of a cold a few weeks before Christmas, the worst she's had in years. We were worried that it could have been Covid but she was tested and got a negative result. I look back on my Facebook memories every day and at this time every year I complain about having colds. It seems to be a common thing for this time of year. I think it's being run down from organising Christmas, the January blues and it's just grey and cold.

Tissues and a hot drink

one hundred percent think that our immune system has been weakened by the lockdowns, seeing less people and wearing masks during the pandemic, I am not playing it down. I know those things needed to happen but with Covid still going strong, the restrictions being just about all removed as well as the normal winter colds and bugs we need to take extra care and look after ourselves a little bit more.

I have made a promise to myself to exercise more, eat better and sleep more this year and have been throughout January but I need to keep it up especially if I want to stay well. 

Here are a few ideas and a few reminders in how to avoid those winter colds and bugs:

1. Wearing a mask when out in public.
2. Using hand sanitiser frequently.
3. Eating immune boosting foods like oranges and spinach.
4. Staying in as much as possible.
5. Avoiding busy public areas like supermarkets.
6. Avoiding public transport.
7. Getting extra sleep.
8. Drinking lots of water.
9. Washing your hands frequently.
10. Staying warm.
11. Using nasal sanitiser frequently.
12. Taking relief medicines.
13. Wiping down door handles.
14. Eating spicy foods.
15. Ensuring you are in well-ventilated areas when indoors.
16. Eating five fruit and veg a day.
17. Doing plenty of exercise.
18. Getting the latest flu vaccine.
19. Working from home where possible.
20. Having tissues on you at all times.

What are your tips for avoiding winter colds and bugs?

Wednesday, 26 January 2022

Sticky Toffee Steamed Pudding - Recipe!

This is the time of year when my family loves to have a pudding after tea, preferably one with custard and recently I was sent a recipe for Sticky Toffee Steamed Pudding to share. It sounds like a real winter warmer, comfort food at it's best.

Sticky Toffee Steamed Pudding

Sticky Toffee Steamed Pudding - Recipe!

Makes 1 x 17cm pudding (1 litre bowl)
Prep time: 20 mins

Ingredients:
250g of chopped dates.
300ml of boiling water.
1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda.
125g of unsalted butter, softened and 75g for sauce.
175g of light brown sugar and 75g for sauce.
2 eggs.
185g of self-raising flour.
75ml of double cream.

Equipment:
17cm/1 litre glass pudding bowl.
Mixing bowl.
Saucepan.
Electric hand mixer.
Wooden spoon or spatula.

Method:
Preheat the oven to 160°C (fan). Lightly grease the glass pudding bowl with some butter, dust with flour and tap out any excess. Set to one side.

Place the chopped dates and boiling water in a saucepan and heat until the dates are soft and all of the water has been absorbed. Set aside to cool.

Make the batter by creaming the 125g unsalted butter and 175g light brown sugar in a mixing bowl with an electric hand mixer until light and fluffy. 

Add the eggs, making sure to incorporate them fully before finally adding the flour.

Mix the bicarbonate of soda into the dates and stir thoroughly before mixing into the batter with a spoon/spatula.

Pour the batter into the pudding bowl and bake for 40-45 minutes until risen, springy in the centre and an inserted toothpick/knife comes out clean. (Check after 30 minutes and cover with tin foil if the top is looking too dark)

Allow the pudding to cool slightly while making the butterscotch sauce. 

To make the sauce, put 75g butter, 75g light brown sugar and 75ml of double in a saucepan over a medium heat and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved.

Using a tea towel, place a serving plate on top of the warm pudding and invert it, it should release by itself but you may have to encourage it a little. Drizzle warm sauce over the top and serve.

This recipe is from the Easy Peasy Baking campaign, launched by UK Flour Millers, making baking simple. You can find more Easy Peasy Baking recipes and information on the campaign over on the Fab Flour website.

Tuesday, 25 January 2022

My girls are growing up, a little too quickly for my liking.

A few things have happened over the past few weeks which has made me realise that my girls are not children any more and they are growing up. It's obvious our children are going to grow up but sometimes little things sneak up on us and it's a bit of a shock. As a parent it's not a good feeling when they are too independent, especially when it makes me feel like I am a not needed. 

My girls

Ellie went for a MRI scan a couple of weeks ago. It was just procedure before she gets fitted for hearing aids and she was all Miss Independent. We went in and the nurse went through all the safety questions with Ellie and I was just there to butt in and expand on the answers Ellie gave, she did a great job and answered most things by herself and then when it came to Ellie going in for her MRI scan the nurse asked Ellie if she wanted me to go in with her and Ellie said she wasn't fussed. It was a bit of a kicker that my girl didn't feel like she needed me anymore to hold her hand. I sat in the waiting room twiddling my thumbs and when Ellie came out the nurse said that she did great, better than a lot of adults. 

Becky only has a few months left at college and she is making plans for her future. As it stands now when she leaves college she has a promise of a full time job, the one she is doing now part time in the care home. She loves it so it won't be an issue but what has made me realise that she is growing up is the talk about moving out. Eek! It's going to happen one day but I can't imagine Becky not living with me. It's not going to happen anytime soon, she has said that she want's at least 18 months to two years to save and then she is planning to rent somewhere. She had thought about moving to Scunthorpe to be more central to work and her girlfriend but has decided to stay in the little town where we live. I have told her that houses or flats to rent here are as rare as unicorn poop but she said there is no rush. Phew!! 

I have stepped back when it comes to Ellie doing her homework. She tends to do most of it buy herself now. She still sometimes needs a little help especially with maths but it's Becky she goes to not me. I am rubbish when it comes to maths and I am way past understanding what she is studying now. Me stepping back also means that she has to be responsible for getting her homework done on time and handing it in and that's where some problems are arising. Ellie had a detention last night for not handing her homework in, she had done it, I remember her doing it as she was telling me facts about the digestive system but had left it at home. I'd like to say it's a lesson learned but she'll probably do the same thing again before the school year is over.

Another reason that Becky is loving working is the wages. She has got the hang of online shopping and doesn't need me to buy her anything now, although I still do, things like food and some clothes. lol Yesterday I was sat here taking in parcels for her. There was 6 in total. At least there is one thing that she still needs me for, to answer the door. lol

I am so proud that my girls are growing up and are independent but sometimes it really stings that they don't need me as much anymore.