Sunday 31 December 2017

Highs and Lows of 2017 Tag...

I'm starting the year off with a tag. A little recap of 2017! I saw this over on Kate's blog. Kate on thin Ice...I thought this would be an easy tag to join in with but it gave me all the emotions writing it.....There are a couple of rants, things I've never shared on my blog before and happy moments....

1. What was your happiest event?
Seeing my family in the run up to Christmas.....I don't have a big family, I literally only have my dad, my great aunt, and nephew & his mother who I am close too....My dad and great aunt have both had their health issues over the year. My dad had a stroke at the beginning of the summer. It was a small one but it was a stroke all the same and my great Aunt is nearly 90 and has been hit with one thing after another this year but over the last month or so she's finally feeling better.....My dad is just about back to his normal self now....I say normal but he never will be. lol It was so good to see them. This year there was a few minutes this year where I never thought I would see either again!

2. What was the saddest thing to happen?

My mother died. It was a strange situation. I hadn't seen her for about 13 years or spoken to her for at least 8. She met a man online and took her's and my dad's life savings and ran off to be with him, not giving a damn about my brother, dad, her grandaughter Becky or me.....I had heard she had cancer late 2016 but she didn't contact myself or my brother, her husband did behind her back....I found out she had died via an online obituary.....

I am still not sad she is dead...I did my crying and grieving many years ago when she told me I was dead to her but finding out was still a shock....I was sad she died with none of her family, sad she lost her children and didn't know her 4 grandchildren (my brothers kids and my girls).

3. What was the most unlikely thing to happen that actually went ahead and did?

I went and won a cinema room for the hospital where my girls had their heart surgery!!! I was contacted by a PR to share the competition and never thought I would win. In fact I nominated ward 23 of the Freeman hospital where my girls had their heart surgery and forgot about asking for votes.....It didn't matter. People obviously thought it was a good choice!

There was an article written in our local newspaper, The Chronicle and I couldn't have been prouder....It felt like I had done my little bit to help and thank the amazing staff at the Freeman hospital...

4. Who let you down?

Becky's (my teen's) school and her GCSE options. She choose French and they gave her cooking....That was never going to work so she went with Computer Science which was great for a couple of weeks until the teacher went on the sick. Then they got a substitute in and let run for a few weeks. Then decided Computer Science was no more and now it was going to be a BTEC in iMedia because the one teacher who could teach it was sick...We are still none the wiser what iMedia is?....It's not a very productive class....I really can't wait for parents evening. My teen has made me promise not to shout. I won't but I will use my angry voice! hahaha

5. Who supported you?

Ellie's teacher....Let's call her Mrs N has been amazing. We have always known there is something a little different about Ellie. Over the years we have asked for help but nobody has been really forthcoming in helping until Mrs N. She has gave us the backing to go to the powers that be and demand help! We now know Ellie may have some sort of Autism....Mrs N has got Ellie support in school. She is sharing a teaching assistant with another girl, an emotional support worker comes in once a week to work with Ellie and has cracked down on the bullying Ellie has received....I cannot thank Mrs N enough....Every time I see her and speak to her she says something useful which makes me want to just hug her!

6. Tell us what you learned?

I still feel like I learn something new everyday....I have learned that no matter what happens we can get through it as a family....

7. Tell us what made you laugh?

My girls. Especially my youngest and her unicorn obsession....In her head she is a unicorn. We are not which she keeps telling us....She is the only unicorn and the rest of us are piglets. She means it in the nicest of ways really!....Pretty piglets in tutu's...

Ellie says we can be unicorns one day...If we eat a marshmallow every day, dye our hair pink, dream about candyland and have lots of glitter on us....I think I'll stay as a piglet thank you. hehehe

8. Tell us the things that made you cry?

Lots of things on TV...Bradley Lowery....God bless him and his family....The devastation that the Manchester arena bombings brought and the Ariana Grande concert....

9. Tell us three things your child or children did to make you feel proud. Please miss this question out if you are not a parent.
My girls make me so proud every day....It is so hard to think of and choose just 3 things....

Ellie has got so involved in her school choir and I was so proud to see her sing in the choir at the school performance of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Her and the rest of the choir did so well......

I am proud of both of my girls for dealing with issues at school....I won't go into them now but bullying, hard GCSE options and more bullying has been dealt with this year....

My teen has made me proud. I am not going to say why as it's personal to her but there is things this year which she has handled brilliantly.....Way better than I thought she would. 

10. Tell us the things that made you proud of yourself.
I am a shy person and I lack self-confidence but this year I have stood up for myself and my family. I would usually let Stu, my fella do the talking but a few times this year I have grabbed the bull by the horns and spoke up! 

11. Tell us the challenges you overcame?
My shyness. See above....I also let go a little with my girls. Giving them the freedom to walk home alone from school and go out on a weekend without me....Cutting the apron strings and all that.

12. Tell us the things you would like to change about your life in 2018.

I need to exercise more....Since Ellie started walking home from school herself I have lost that 45 minutes of walking I would previously do picking her up......I'm thinking of buying myself a treadmill. I want to run but don't feel confident enough to run outside....

All in all it hasn't been a bad year....We have had plenty of laughs, smiles and happy moments that we will remember forever! 

I'm going to break Kate's rules and not tag anyone specific to join in....I want you all to. Sorry Kate!

Happy new year! Wishing you all the best for 2018....

A photo everyday for a year - Week 52 #Project365

I finally did it! I took a photo every day for a year. I think for the previous years I missed a day or two but this year I smashed it! 

I hope you all had a fab Christmas....We did!
Have a fantastic new years eve whatever you are doing.....We're spending it at home, having a party tea and playing board games....Wishing you all the best for 2018!

Here is the final week of photos! I will be taking part again next year....I'm on a roll now. hehehe

357/365 - 23rd December
Decorating shortbread snowmen....

358/365 - 24th December
Christmas eve - Chinese takeaway for tea!

359/365 - 25th December
Christmas day - Unwrapping their presents....

360/365 - 26th December
Becky my teen got off her tablet & phone & did something creative....

361/365 - 27th December
More crafts. A painted puppy....

362/365 - 28th December
Digging for dinosaurs. They had such fun making a mess....

363/365 - 29th December
Painting a pug by numbers....

364/365 - 30th December
I got myself a new diary for next year....

365/365 - 31st December
I'm all set for tonight! 

Happy new year!

Two happy girls. #MySundayPhoto

I think they were happy with their new TV's....Hugs all round. lol

Saturday 30 December 2017

Most searched for in 2017...

Google remains the most used search engine on the web and its annual list of the most popular searches has been released....It always interests me.

The UK's top 10 trending queries were:

1. Meghan Markle.
I searched for her a couple of times....I had no idea who she was at the beginning of 2017 and now she's nearly a member of the royal family! I like her and I didn't realise she used to be a blogger. Her and Prince Harry look so in love. It's just heart warming.

2. iPhone 8
I definitely searched for this just to show Becky the price of them and to reinforce the fact she wouldn't be getting one for Christmas. Even now they are more than a months rent for us....I think iPhones are over priced and over rated. Hmmf.

3. Hurricane Irma
I took interest in this because one of my relatives was in Florida for her honeymoon and my great Aunt who does not use the internet wanted to know what was going on....It was shocking the destruction it caused....

4. Fidget spinner
My girls were obsessed with these....Becky still loves them but they were just a fad with Ellie. Phew!

5. Manchester bombing
I really don't know what to say about the Manchester bombing....It is still shocking that it happened and even though I live nowhere near Manchester or know anyone who was caught up in it, it still leaves me feeling emotional....It was amazing to see the country and world come together.

6. Grenfell Tower
Another devastating tragedy which should not have happened....It is horrible to read that more than 100 families who lived in the London tower block are still waiting to be re-homed....I don't usually talk politics but the government could have and should be doing more to help!

7. 13 Reasons Why
Netflix's teen-oriented drama about a high-school student who takes her own life. I searched for it when I saw it trending on Twitter and I started watching it. I never got around to watching it all....It was OK what I saw of it but I just couldn't get into it.

8. Tara Palmer-Tomkinson
Aww! Bless her. I remember searching for her. Becky my teen had fallen off her scooter and landed on her face. We were in A&E getting her checked over (She was fine) when I saw Tara Palmer-Tomkinson trending on Twitter. I know not to believe everything you read on there so to Google I went.

9. Shannon Matthews
While writing this I couldn't think why Shannon Matthews was on this list but then Googling I realised why. The Moorside!! The two-part drama based on the kidnapping of Shannon Matthews. If you haven't seen it, try too! It was such a good show.....

10. iPhone X
hahaha! This was just another reason my teen wasn't getting one for Christmas. Nearly 2 months rent. Eesh!

 I searched for all of these things when they were in the news....Did you?

Christmas Leftover Rocky Road recipe....

Sometimes it’s easy to go overboard with buying sweets and chocolate in the run up to Christmas....We always have loads left. This is a great recipe for using up all those Christmas leftovers including broken biscuits, Christmas pudding, Christmas cake and the selection box chocolates that nobody wants!!


250g leftover Christmas pudding or Christmas cake
250g milk chocolate
225g digestive biscuits
100g glacé cherries
100g butter
150g mini marshmallows
4 tbsp golden syrup
Icing sugar


1. Line a baking tin with greaseproof paper.

2. First crumble or chop the Christmas pudding or Christmas cake into small pieces and place in a large mixing bowl.

3. Next, break the digestive biscuits into pieces making sure not to crush them completely and place in the mixing bowl.

4. Chop the glace cherries into quarters and add to the cake and biscuit mixture along with the mini marshmallows.

5. Place the chocolate, butter and golden syrup in a large heatproof bowl and melt slowly over a pan of boiling water ensuring the bowl doesn’t touch the water. 

6. Pour the melted chocolate mixture over the cake mixture and stir thoroughly until everything is coated in chocolate.

7. Next, pour into the baking tin and leave to set in the fridge for at least 2 hours or until completely solid.

8. Finally, dust the rocky road with icing sugar for a festive touch, cut into squares and enjoy!

Friday 29 December 2017

Full, Full, Full. #WotW

This week my Word of the week is:

That's how I my belly has felt all week....We have done nothing but eat! I will think to myself I am full then an hour later I will be eating

On Christmas eve we got a Chinese takeaway and that was the start of the eating....We got a bit of everything like we usually do and a lot went to waste so I think we will have to rethink our Christmas eve takeaway next year....It was enjoyed though....

The Christmas dinner I cooked was amazing...Even Ellie who is usually a picky eater wolfed it down. I think it's the best one I've ever made....All week we've eaten the leftovers...Picked out of the fridge and of course eaten tons and tons of sweets...It has been perfect! Just how Christmas is supposed to be....

The kids were very impressed with there presents....We still have to find a home for everything. The TV's the girls got have been put in their rooms and they love them. Ellie got a new tablet & Becky a new phone....I thought I would have had to drag them off their electronics but they haven't been too bad....They have been doing crafty things, reading books and playing games together....

The house feels very full. All their presents are still downstairs and it will need sorting soon....I think we are going to take the decorations down on Sunday. It's Stu's only day off work and I don't want to do it all myself.....The kids still have a week and a half off school so there is plenty of time to sort their toys....

We've watched so much TV. My Sky planner is nearly full. At least when the Christmas TV has finished we will still have plenty to watch....hehehe

It has been such a great week....I feel full of happiness. We haven't been anywhere or done much. Stu has still had to go to work and the girls and I have stayed in our pj's....It has been lovely to relax....

I hope you have all had a lovely week....

Thursday 28 December 2017

My top 10 blog posts of 2017....

Last year I did a recap of my top blog posts from 2016.....This year I am doing the same and sharing my top 10 blog posts from this past year....

I haven't included giveaways or review posts as they are always so popular. You can read about the favourite things I reviewed this year in a post I shared earlier this week....

This was all about how Ellie my then 9 year old spent over £150 on the Smiggle website without us knowing....We only found out when we noticed nearly all of our money missing. Oops. We did learn a lesson. Never leave yourself logged into anything important!

It's not OK to take & use photos of my children....

All about how someone took and printed out photos of my teen Becky....The boy said he was very excited to find Becky online....Weird! 

The beginning of our journey....Ellie's teacher suspected she had something like ADHD but we have since found out that she may have Autism.....We are still pretty in the dark about things but should have an appointment soon....

A long waiting time, a closed play area, stingy portions and overcooked and under cooked food...Not what you want for a birthday meal out! We were given a voucher to use but that went out of date last month....We were really put off which was a shame....

I had seen Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes on Pinterest again and again and they looked like a lot of fun to make....They were and so yummy to eat too! 

How we decorated my teen's bedroom on a budget. She loved it....

Ellie has really suffered with bullies over the past year....She just brushes it off...I have been the one crying! Things are slightly better no but there is a couple of girls who still cause problems....Ugh! They're in for such a shock when they start secondary school in September. They may be top dogs in primary school but things change at the big school. I've seen it happen again and again!

A day out at the beach.....Fish & chips, paddling in the sea and sunburn. The perfect day!

This was a strange one to see in my top 10 blog posts....It was written on a Friday evening in about 20 minutes after seeing an advert on the TV for a TV show where contestants attempt to survive five days and nights in solitary confinement. It sounded like heaven! lol

This was all about how the same children in school are picked again and again....I am glad to say there has been a slight change since a new headteacher was appointed. 

So there you go. That was my top 10 blog posts of the year....

Wednesday 27 December 2017

Our Christmas Day - 2017

Our Christmas day was a relaxed one....Mostly! We stayed in our pj's all day and the house ended up looking like a tip but it was fine...It's was Christmas.

The kids were up at 5am and they were sent swiftly back to bed....They returned just before 9am which seemed like a much more reasonable hour....

The girls spent the next half hour rushing through and opening their presents....

They got everything they wanted and more....Becky got a new phone which wasn't an iPhone and there was no complaints, Ellie got lots of little dolls and little things that she loves and spent so much time playing with them and they were both amazed and so happy with their new tv's...

Then because of too much excitement, chocolate from her stocking or tiredness? Ellie vomited! I thought Christmas was ruined but after a sleep she was fine and back to her normal self....Phew! 

We didn't eat Christmas dinner until after 4pm....I got distracted playing games with the kids and ran behind but it didn't matter....When it was ready we enjoyed it so much. I would go as far to say it's the best Christmas dinner I've cooked yet!

We had a wonderful day....I hope you all did too.

Tuesday 26 December 2017

My favourite reviews of 2017.

Over the past year my family and I have reviewed some fantastic things....Some have been gifted to us and some I have bought.....It doesn't influence my opinion though. All my thoughts and opinions on my blog posts are honest and my own....

The Betty Box is a monthly subscription service which provides tampons and pads, alongside a beauty and pamper box which consists of a fab selection of products. Anything from makeup to jewellery and cute trinkets. The Betty box is aimed at girls in their teens and the idea is just to make that time of the month a little bit more pleasant!

This is such a great idea and in the new year we will be subscribing....I saw we as Becky and I will be sharing a box...

Galleoneers is a recipe subscription box perfect for kids aged between 3 to 12 years old. The boxes give little chefs the chance to appreciate diverse cuisines from around the world. With 3 recipes in each box including starters or snacks, mains and desserts your cooks can learn a variety of kitchen techniques. As well as learning about the cuisine they also learn about geography and explore new cultures.

Ellie had fantastic fun making sushi and it really did teach us a lot about Japan.

Playmobil City Life Furnished Children's Hospital has a working elevator which has space for the patient's bed, an adjustable operating table, a patient bed which rolls on wheels, a reception, a children's and baby section as well as an operating room. It has a lot of medical equipment including moveable surgical light, respirator and defibrillator. It includes:5 Playmobil figures, 1 baby incubator, 1 toilet, 1 child's hospital bed, 1 reception desk, 1 childs growth chart, 1 scales, 1 operating room and lots of accessories. 

Ellie had some Christmas money to spend and this was one of the best buys we've ever made. She still plays with this now. At least once every couple of days...I can't see he getting bored of it any time soon!

Ellie was sent everything she needed for going back to school...What made it special was that everything had her name on. It was a great set and even though the pens have ran out she still has the pencil case and the pencils....She loves it and still uses it every day for school....

I was very lucky to be sent 4 bottles of sparkling wine to try and it felt like such a treat....I have a bottle of the Prosecco ready for new year....hehehe

This was the most amazing review of the year! Not one but two Dyson's....I was nominated by Jayne who blogs at Sticky Mud & Belly Laughs to take part in a gifting challenge where we sent each other a gift from AO. She choose this for me and it was such a great choice. I use the cord free vacuum daily and the upright one a few times a week....Now I have a Dyson I will never be using another brand!

 I still can't believe that companies and businesses send me things to review....I am so grateful for everything I receive!

Monday 25 December 2017

Our Weekly Meal Plan!! - #mealplanningmonday

It might be Christmas day but I wrote this blog post last week.....I can't miss a week of meal planning just because of Christmas!

This week is by far my favourite week to meal plan for....I love Christmas....

This week on the menu we have:

Monday - CHRISTMAS DINNER obviously!!!
Turkey, pork, roast potatoes, mashed potatoes, parsnips, mashed swede, pigs in blankets, at least 4 different kinds of stuffing, carrots, peas, brussel sprouts, broccoli, cabbage and I think that's about it. lol....
Tuesday - Leftovers for my fella and I and the kids will pick out of the fridge on meat, sausage rolls, pork pies and things like that....
Wednesday - A turkey curry of some sort....
ThursdayHam salad. We are usually craving something healthy by now...
Friday - Home made fish & chips....
Saturday - BBQ chicken and rice....
Sunday - A picky party tea....Sausage rolls, mini pizzas, nibbly things. I make good use of Tesco & get the 3 party food packs for £5. 

What will you be eating this week?

Happy Christmas....

Sunday 24 December 2017

Merry Christmas Eve...

Are we all ready for tomorrow? I think I am!

The shopping was delivered yesterday. There was 19 substitutions. 18 were better than what I ordered. I had ordered a Minecraft 2018 calendar for Ellie and they sent a Hot Wheels Advent calendar. Not the same and not much use considering it was the 23rd of December. lol The only thing not delivered which was needed was potatoes. Just normal potatoes to use for mash....I nipped out last night to Iceland and bought some and a few other bits and pieces I had forgotten about like Trifle, sausage rolls and lemons. I also picked up some more stuffing. We have about 6 different types now. hahaha I love stuffing!

The kids are beyond excited. There has been presents under the tree from family since last Sunday and then more arrived from Jayne and then more family visited and brought presents too....We are all feeling very loved and lucky!

This morning we're going to Asda to buy some new pj's for us all....I know which one's I want and I hope they have them in. Eek! I might get a few more stocking fillers for the girls and then the shopping is done....

I am cooking the meat this afternoon....We're having Turkey, pork & beef so if I don't we probably wouldn't be having dinner until about 8pm I have all the stuffing, roast potatoes and parsnips to cook tomorrow. 

We will all have baths and we're having a Chinese takeaway for tea....I can't wait!

Once the kids are in bed, my fella and I will last the last of the presents and hopefully get an early night, ready for the big day.....

This post was supposed to be a short one....hahaha 

All I really wanted to say was I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas! I hope you get all the gifts you have asked for, eat, drink & be merry!

An early Christmas present each... #MySundayPhoto

My dad does spoil the girls....

Merry Christmas! I hope you all have a wonderful day tomorrow xxx

Saturday 23 December 2017

A photo everyday for a year - Week 51 #Project365

We have had such a busy week....Family has visited, there's been so much going on at school for the girls, we spent a few days without a washing machine when it broke. It's fixed now and we are slowly catching up on the pile of washing...The kids finally finished school yesterday and we are ready for a break....

Here is a photo for every day!

329/365 - 16th December

330/365 - 17th December
I got my new cooker. Hooray!

331/365 - 18th December
We went to the school carol service at the church. The chairs are pretty to look at but they are so uncomfortable....

332/365 - 19th December
The last of the presents I had to wrap....

333/365 - 20th December
My youngest had to have pretty nails for her school party....

334/365 - 21st December
That big white thing is the new drum for the washing machine. After 3 hours of the repairman being here it was finally fixed.

335/365 - 22nd December
I went out for breakfast with friends...