Friday, 18 October 2019

This week my Word of the Week is Better! #WotW

This week my Word of the Week is:

This time last week I felt rotten. I had came down with a cold and it hit me hard. I don't think the grey, wet weather has helped. I had a sore throat and a snotty nose which then developed into a cough. I haven't been sleeping properly which hasn't helped me feel great and when I did sleep I was snoring something terribly. Stu said he couldn't sleep through it and for 3 nights this week he ended up coming down onto the sofa to sleep. 

Stu and the kids were great over the weekend helping with the housework. They let me just relax and take things easy. Over the last couple of days I have felt much better thankfully and yesterday I was just about back to normal. Well as normal as I get anyway. hehehe

I have been quite lazy for the past week. Just pottering around the house and I finally finished rewatching Breaking Bad so I could watch the new film El Caminio. I also painted some of the living room wall. There was a patch where a cupboard had been which didn't match the rest of the room. I found some paint in the shed which was a close enough match and got that job done. All the walls look the same colour now and it looks so much better.

I pushed myself to go out yesterday. The kids were at the dentist for a check up. It was our first time with the new dentist and he was tough on them. Their teeth are find and don't need any work done but just had a nag at Ellie about brushing right at the back and told Becky to cut down on the fizzy pop. She came out and said "how does he even know?". I am guessing he knows all teenagers go to college and drink too much pop. hehehe As harsh as he was I do think this new one is better than our old dentist! 

It was such a lovely day yesterday. I popped to my dad's to help him out with some work on the computer and ended up staying and helping with some gardening. It was so warm compared to what it has been.

Becky had a good week at college. She handed in her first module to be marked. She did better than most of her class, the majority still haven't handed the work in. Eek! Ellie has done better at getting home when she's supposed to be in after playing out with friends. She brought a whole tribe of them home with her last night. It was raining and I said they could hang out in the garage! I am officially the coolest parent! hehehe

Thursday, 17 October 2019

Ten things I like to do on a rainy day.

We have had quite a few rainy days lately and as long as we don't have too many close together I do like them especially at this time of year when I can stay inside and hide away from the rubbish weather!

My favourite things to do on a rainy day are:

Stay in my pj's.
I always feel cosy and warm when I'm in my pj's, especially my thick fleecy one's. I had to go hunting for them last week as I'd put them away in a safe place when we moved in here as I didn't need them as it was the middle of summer.

Catch up on random jobs around the house.
Not the housework, random DIY jobs. Just yesterday I painted a little patch on the living room wall. When we moved in here it looked like a cupboard had been removed and left different coloured wallpaper showing. I found some paint in the shed which was very similar and now it's painted you can't tell it ever looked any different.

Tidy the kids bedrooms.
The kids give their bedrooms a good tidy every week but sometimes I do like to go up there and give them a proper tidy and clean. I like to do it on a rainy day. It always feels cosier in their rooms and it feels like I haven't wasted the day if I've done their rooms.

Cook a big warming meal
A couple of weeks ago I changed the meal plan around to cook the roast dinner on a rainy day. Cooking a big meal always warms the kitchen up and then the rest of the house plus when the kids and my fella get in they always appreciate a big warming meal.

Sort the washing.
I always have piles of clean washing around the house which I hate putting away. When it's raining and I can't get any to dry on the line it gives me the time to catch up and I have no excuse not to put it away. I always say I'll keep on top of it but I never do. lol

Play the Sims.
The Sims is a fantastic waste of time and I can easily lose hours playing.

I love to bake when it's grey and wet out. Then snuggling under a blanket with a cup of tea and munching on whatever I've made. 

Have a soak in the bath.
Having a bath during the day seems like such a treat and when it's wet out I love to soak in a red hot bath, listen to the rain and relax. Having the heating on warming my towels is an extra treat!

Watch TV.
At this time of year I always have so much on my Sky planner. Staying in on a wet day gives me chance to catch up. I have even more on the planner now because I've spent the last couple of weeks rewatching Breaking Bad so I could watch the new film El Caminio. lol

When it's wet out I get a blanket and plonk my bum in my armchair and get on with writing some blog posts like this one and catch up on reading and commenting on other peoples blogs.

What do you like to do on a rainy day?

Wednesday, 16 October 2019

(Ad - Gifted) Spooky Halloween Recipes from Fruit Bowl!

The nights are drawing in and Halloween is looming so to help you to get into the spirit of things here are a couple of spooky and delicious recipes from Fruit Bowl

Putting the fun back into fruit, Fruit Bowl have two recipes for the spooky season, Gluten Free Halloween Cupcakes and Halloween Spider Jellies!

All of Fruit Bowl's tasty recipes incorporate their healthy, fruit based snacks made with natural ingredients only and a great way of getting your child to reach their 5 a day!

Halloween Spider Jellies.

Serves: 6 (depending on mould size)
Total cooking time: 15 minutes

1 pint of fruit juice (not from concentrate)
5 x 12g leaves of gelatin
Individual, small jelly moulds
A handful of mixed fruit
8 Packs (16g) Fruit Bowl Peelers
1 Bag of Fruit Bowl Yogurt Coated Raisins 

Take a quarter of the fruit juice and gently heat in a pan with the gelatin leaves.
Stir until dissolved.
Once dissolved, slowly add the remaining fruit juice and stir.
Take the moulds and place the fruit at the bottom.
Pour the juice mix into the mould.
Wait until cool, cover and place in the fridge over night.
Just before serving, turn out the jellies onto a plate.
Peel your peelers so you have 8 strips of each jelly
Push each strip into the jelly (4 on each side!)
Add yogurt coated raisins cut in half onto the top of the jelly to make your spider eyes.

Gluten Free Halloween Cupcakes.

Total Cooking Time: Prep 40 mins, total 60 mins
Serves: 8

250g Gluten Free Plain Flour
2tbsp Cocoa powder
1tsp Baking powder
100g Softened butter
150g Caster sugar
1tbsp Red food colouring
2 Eggs
150ml Milk

Chocolate Frosting:
55g Softened butter
90g Milk or Dark cooking chocolate
215g Icing sugar
2 Drops of Vanilla Extract/Vanilla Essence
88ml Milk

2 packs of Fruit Bowl Blackcurrant or Raspberry Peelers
1 bag of Fruit Bowl Yogurt coated raisins, halved widthways
1 bag Fruit Bowl Blackcurrant Fruit Flakes cut into pieces

Preheat the oven to 180°C/ Gas Mark 4.
Sieve the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder and mix together in a bowl.
In a separate bowl, beat together the softened butter and sugar and then add the red food colouring. Mix well.
Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add the eggs and milk pouring slowly. Mix well.
Pour the mixture into cupcake cases and bake in the oven for 20 minutes until the cakes are soft and springy to touch.
Once removed from the oven, place on a wire rack to cool.
While the cupcakes are cooling, make the frosting.
Melt the chocolate and butter in a bowl over a pan of boiling water or in a microwave. Be careful to ensure that the mix does not come into contact with the water.
In a bowl, combine the icing sugar, vanilla and 60ml of the milk. Blend in the melted chocolate mixture and then add the remaining milk a little at a time until the desired consistency is achieved.
Let the icing stand until spreadable (the frosting will thicken as it cools).
Once the cupcakes are cooled, pipe or spread the frosting onto the cupcakes.

To make the body, take 1 strand from a Peeler and roll into a spiral. Secure with a small blob of icing and place in the middle of the cupcake.
To make the legs, cut Peeler pieces into 5cm strips making 8 in total. Bend the end of each one towards you and then position them on the cake so that they are coming out of the spider body. Affix 2 Yogurt halves towards the top of the body of the spider for the eyes and then place a piece of blackcurrant flake in the centre of each one for the pupils.
Repeat for the remaining cupcakes.

Will you be making any spooky Halloween treats?

I was sent a selection of Fruit Bowl products in exchange for this blog post.

Tuesday, 15 October 2019

Baby Loss Awareness Week - My Story!

We are coming to the end of Baby Loss Awareness Week. It’s been an opportunity for parents, their families and friends to acknowledge and remember the precious babies who have died. It has also been a way to break the silence around pregnancy or baby loss in the UK 

It is estimated that 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage. Among women who know they are pregnant it is estimated that 1 in 6 pregnancies end in miscarriage. I made up one of these statistics.

Before I fell pregnant with Becky I lost a baby. It was an horrendous experience and may be triggering so don't read on if you may be upset about things like this. I understand.

I fell pregnant in the May/June of 2001. It was planned not that it makes any difference to the story. Everything was going great. I had passed the 12 week stage and had, had my first scan. The baby looked fine but they did notice that I had a Bicornuate (heart-shaped) womb. 

The difference between a Bicornuate (heart-shaped) womb and a normal womb

Women with a bicornuate womb have no extra difficulties with conception or in early pregnancy but there is a slightly higher risk of miscarriage and preterm birth. I was not worried in the slightest and the doctors and the midwives weren't. I was quite the novelty. I had about 6 trainee midwives looking at me. lol

A week or so had passed and then I started bleeding. It started off just as pink discharge and started to get a little heavier. The receptionist at my doctors was quite blunt and said it sounded like a miscarriage and got me booked in for a scan at the hospital. 

Sat in the waiting room waiting to go in for the scan it didn't even cross my mind that I could be loosing the baby. As much as I was bleeding I wasn't worrying. I thought the heart-shaped womb was just the cause. I had the scan and there was no heartbeat. It was checked and double checked and there was nothing.

I was about 13 weeks along. They said the baby hadn't grown since the last scan. So the chances are it died just after I'd had my 12 week scan.

I was booked in for a D&C (dilation and curettage) the next morning. There wasn't any talk about letting things happen naturally I never thought to ask.

Telling people I had lost the baby was the worst. Getting off the bus from the hospital we saw my then partners brother. He knew we were going to the hospital but I don't think why. He said something jokey and I just snapped at him and walked away. My dad hadn't been overjoyed that I was pregnant to start with and I was quite bitter so when I told him I said something along the lines of "you'll be happy now, I've lost the baby". It was cruel. He wasn't happy. Far from it. He cried and he is a man that rarely cries. 

I went into hospital on the morning and was told I would be first in theater at around 8am. I was given a tablet to put up inside of me to start the process of opening my cervix at about 7am and it started to work soon after. The bleeding and the pain got heavier and worse. 8am, 9am and 10am came around. I was in agony. I was soaking through normal thick sanitary pads in minutes. I sat on the loo and there was clots and chunks coming out of me. 

The midwives were amazing. They were disgusted and shocked that I hadn't been to theatre already. There was nothing they could do apart from give me painkillers and comfort me which the did. They were truly amazing.

Emergency c-sections and surgeries were more important which I totally understand but at the time I didn't. In my head all I could feel and see were bits of my baby coming out of my. Talking about it rationally afterwards it was the lining of my womb coming away. 

I finally got took the theater at lunchtime. I came around from the anesthetic and felt like it had all been a nightmare, just a really bad dream. I felt so relieved that it was all over. I had something to eat and my mam & dad picked me up and took me home.

I was told that in a few weeks I could make an appointment and have a chat about why I had lost the baby. They would have done tests by then on what they had taken out of my womb. I never went back. In hindsight I wished I had. Since having two girls with heart defects it always has me wondering did that baby have a problem with their heart too? The doctors have said that I may be unable to carry boys and that is why I lost this baby. It could have been a boy? I like to think it was.

Monday, 14 October 2019

Our weekly meal plan! 14th - 20th October. #MealPlanningMonday

Last weeks meal plan went OK. I swapped a few days around but we ate everything. 

I failed a bit with the weekly food shop. I was coming down with a cold when I ordered it on Thursday and had no interest in spending time in the kitchen. I still have a snotty nose but I feel much better now. This week is going to be all about lazy, can't be bothered cooking. I don't care, the less time I spend preparing food the less chance I have passing my germs on.

This week on the menu we have:

Monday - Tomato soup with ham sandwiches to dip in.
Tuesday - Jacket potatoes with baked beans.
Wednesday - Chicken nuggets, chips and baked beans.
Thursday - Broccoli pasta.
Friday - Pizza.
Saturday - Burgers in buns with fries.
Sunday - A casserole of some sort.

What are you eating this week?