Saturday 29 February 2020

Week 9 of #Project366 - A photo every day for a year!

I have had a busy week. Shopping Monday, decorating the bathroom on Tuesday and Wednesday, catching up with blogging on Thursday and the housework yesterday. I am glad the weekend is here so I can have a bit of a rest. I am not expecting to see much of the kids today.

Now for a photo every day!

My youngest ready to go out and my fella playing Fortnite.
Packets of instant mash
A pancake in a pan and my hand covered in grey and yellow paint.
My garden with the washing on the line and a trowel my youngest made at school.

53/366 - 22nd February
Ellie was going out with friends. She is really caring more about what she wears now and always looks so smart. It is costing me a fortune as she is wanting different clothes than she was wearing 6 months ago. It's a good job she's had a growth spurt and actually needs them. Primark is our favourite shop at the moment.

54/366 - 23rd February
Becky has got my fella playing Fortnite. She plays on the xbox and him on the PC. He got his first win on Sunday. She was not impressed and said come back and brag when you have had 10 wins. Harsh. 

55/366 - 24th February
I was sent some instant mash to try out. I have the review post going next week. I was very impressed with it.

56/366 - 25th February
Pancake day! We stuffed ourselves. The kids had about 4 each with different toppings on. At one point Ellie was sat with a jar of chocolate spread and a knife, just plastering it onto her pancake.

57/366 - 26th February
I spent a couple of days painting the bathroom. I always seem to get myself covered in paint. It looks fab now and was worth all my hard work.

58/366 - 27th February
It was such a lovely day on Thursday. The sun was shining, it was breezy and there was no rain! Perfect for getting some washing dried. I got 3 loads done!

59/366 - 28th February
Ellie brought this home from school. She has been working on it since after Christmas in her design & technology lessons. She made it all her self. Cut and shaped the metal and the wood and put it all together. I was so impressed, my dad was here when she got it out of her bag and he knows his tools and even he said it was amazing!

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What I loved in February 2020!

January seemed to last forever and February has flown over. I know it's a shorter month by a couple of days but it was one of those blink and you missed it months!

This is what I loved in February:

A fab half term!
This was the first half term where I hardly saw the kids. They were with their friends doing their own thing and they loved it. We did have a trip to Hull and the kids had a visit to the cinema. It doesn't seem that long until the Easter holidays and the girls are already making plans.

Doing bits around the house!
We seem to have got lots done around the house over the past month. Little jobs like putting shelves up and fixing doors to decorating Becky's bedroom, getting her a new bed and decorating the bathroom. Even though it's felt like home since we moved in here it's starting to feel more like our home. The next job on the list is to decorate the hallway and up the stairs.

Carrot Cake Muffins!
I always have a muffin for my breakfast with a cuppa. Usually I go for lemon one's but every year Tesco bring out a limited edition one for Easter and this years is delicious! They are probably not meant for breakfast as they probably aren't the healthiest but they're only around for a couple of months so I'm making the most of them when they are here.

The Stranger.
I watched this in a couple of days and it was so good! 
We all have secrets. Based on the novel by Harlan Coben, The Stranger forces us to confront a question we all fear, how well do we really know the people closest to us? When a stranger makes a shocking claim about his wife, family man Adam Price becomes entangled in a mystery as he desperately searches for answers.

Valentine's Day!
This was the first year that both my girls gave and received cards and gifts for Valentine's day. They're growing up far too fast for my liking but Ellie has a boyfriend, he's such a sweet lad and way more sensible than the other lad she had a thing for and Becky is in a relationship and has been for a couple of months and I finally got to meet the girl in question. She's a lovely lass.

A brilliant night out!
Early on in February I had a night out with my dad's partner seeing a Bon Jovi tribute act. They were fab and it was brilliant to have some time away from the kids. I love them to bits but it is nice to have a bit of adult company and a few drinks.

What did you love in February?

Friday 28 February 2020

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

This week my Word of the Week is:

The kids went back to school after half term and got straight back into a routine, for me it has been a busy week.

Stu got an unexpected afternoon off last Friday and was busy doing jobs around the house. Fixing a door, shelves and changing some doors on the cupboard in our bedroom. We were supposed to be going out on Saturday but I decided that the kids should still go out and Stu and I should stay home and have a good clean. He had left dust and mess around the house from doing his DIY.

As soon as the kids left for college & school on Monday we were going to go to town to buy lots of things for decorating like paintbrushes, filler, rollers and some things for around the house but then the water people turned up. We have been having problems with our drains over the last 4 months. Next door has been having an extension built and their drain in the back yard is open so when it gets blocked it overflows. Eww! The water people had been out a couple of times before but hadn't found the problem but this time a man put a camera down the drains and found a big rock about 20ft from our's and next doors houses, it's in road so I imagine they are going to have to dig it up. Our drains always get blocked on a weekend when everyone is in, us and next door. The drain can't cope with the waste and it gets stuck against the rock then backs up and our toilet overflows. Ugh! Hopefully the rock will be removed soon.

Stu and I bought way more than we had planned to in town but for great prices. Everything we had planned on getting plus candles, paint, lampshades, work trousers for Stu and bath mats. I had seen the memory foam bath mats in B&M for £6,99 and thought they were expensive, they were, I found them in Poundstretcher for £1,99. I was amazed when I got home and checked the bank, we only spent just over £100 which included lunch out.

On Tuesday I started work in the bathroom. We had planned to leave the walls the same colour, an oatmeal colour and paint the shelving bright yellow. It looked great when I had finished.

Then my dad said he had found some grey paint and remembered that I had been on about painting the walls grey so that was my job on Wednesday! It took a couple of coats and then I decided to paint half of wood grey too. I realised I had missed some bits that needed painting yellow, the window above the bath and the arch. I was on from 10am until Ellie got in from school at quarter to four. I think it looks so good now. It really brightens up the room.

I did feel so achy after a couple a few busy days so when Ellie went to school yesterday I went back to bed. I had planned on having a lazy day but to be honest it wasn't that lazy. I wrote this blog post and a couple of others and caught up on the washing. I actually got it on the line to dry. It was freezing cold but the sun was shining right onto my garden all afternoon. I got 3 loads done!

Today I have the housework to catch up on and I am going to see my dad, then having a look around the local auction to see if they have anything I want then I have the shopping being delivered later. I'll be glad when it's the weekend because I have no plans at all. The kids do. Ellie is going bowling with her friend and Becky is planning on going to town with her's. 

Thursday 27 February 2020

Some things just don't translate!

When we moved house in the summer of last year one of the first things we noticed was the difference in the accents and the way people spoke. We moved from Northumberland to North Lincolnshire. There is a big difference!

My family sound really Geordie compared to people here even though we lived nowhere near Newcastle and I am ashamed to admit it, we sound so common. People here talk really posh! It is hilarious though, there is lots of times people have looked at Stu and I like we're talking a different language. 

The best example I can give is when we were at my dad's one of my dad's friends was walking past and Stu said something like "that bonfire is really stinking" and he answered with "quarter to three". Stu, my dad's partner Sarah and I just looked at each other trying to hide our giggles. 

When Stu and I are talking to anyone which isn't my dad or Sarah we try to talk slowly. Stu does talk fast and people just can't understand him. I remember when I first met him I asked him to speak slower so it does take some getting used to. I was born and brought up in the North East but in Stockton on Tees and Durham. My dad's partner Sarah is born and bred here and she talks so slowly compared to us. My dad has lived here for about 12 years so is used to how people speak but he has picked up the accent a bit.

There are some words and phrases which Stu and I say and we realise that people don't have a clue what we're on about.

Meaning: Crying!
If the kids cry (not that they do often), I tell them to stop their bubbling!

Pease pudding!
Does not translate here. No one has a clue what Pease Pudding is and even the suggestion of ham and pease pudding sandwiches is frowned at. I can search for it online and see it in all of the supermarkets but as soon as I log in with my delivery address it vanishes. Hmmf!

Dee as ya telt!
Meaning: do as you're told. When I shout at the kids my accent really comes out. Oops.

Meaning: Starving, hungry to the point of being in desperate need of some sustenance which goes with the next one.

Scran, Bait
Meaning: food

Meaning: friend, colleague, workmate.

Meaning: wet and muddy.

Meaning: someone being mischievous or downright annoying, mostly Ellie. lol

Meaning: To describe something that has been enjoyed or something that's liked. A lot of people just don't use that word here and I over use it. That top is lush, that drink was lush, that pie was lush. lol

A few months ago there we met a woman at the local auction who's Scottish and it's wonderful, she understands every word we say, especially Stu. She gets where we're coming from not being able to be understood sometimes. The man who runs the auction is from London and has a strong accent and he understands us. It makes me chuckle. All the non-local people can understand us. 

What does make me laugh is that Ellie's accent is the one that is really changing and not into a typical North Lincolnshire accent. I don't know how and why but she's picked up a Birmingham accent. Some of the words she say's sound really Brummy. My dad first noticed it and Stu and I have since. lol

Have you ever moved somewhere where people have struggled to understand you?

Wednesday 26 February 2020

(Ad - Gifted) A Slate Photo Panel & ideas for Mother's Day from Asda Photo.

Mother's day will be here before you know it. It's on the 22nd of March in case you didn't know and Asda Photo have a fantastic selection of gifts which would be perfect for any mum or mother figure.

I was recently sent one of their Slate Photo Panels to feature in this blog post.

A Slate Photo Panel on my fireplace.

Add some personalised style to your home with a beautiful photo slate. The chiselled edge naturally frames your photos making them ideal to show off your best wedding, family or holiday moments. Unleash the photographer in you and add your own scenic designs to really give your slate the professional look. The product edges may differ from the previews as each piece will have a unique finish.

I chose the 7.5″ × 5.5″ size and photo from last year. I have so many photos of the girls and the girls and Stu around the house but not many of the girls and me.

When it arrived I couldn't wait to open the packaging and get into it. I think it looks amazing. It really is something different than just a normal frame or a canvas. It is real slate and it is something which is really unique.

The edges of the Slate Photo Panel

The photo on the slate is really clear, I would say clearer and shinier than a normal photo. I now have it stood on my fireplace and it really stands out. It comes with stands that you just slot the slate into and it seems really stable.

At £11.00 plus delivery I would say this is a bargain price and it would make such a lovely gift. I will be keeping it in mind when I buy people in my life gifts.

As well as the slate photo panels Asda Photo have more fantastic gifts:

a photo book and cushion for mothers day

Personalised Cushions from £14.00
Have fun gifting this Mother’s Day, whilst adding a touch of freshness to your mum’s living room with a beautiful high quality personalised cushion.

Photo Books from £6.00
Photo books make for the perfect keepsake so this Mother’s Day create a photo book celebrating all the special occasions that you have shared as a family.

Personalised Canvas from £12.00

My asda photo canvas with photos of my family

Make Mother’s Day extra special and create a touching and sentimental gift for the motherly figure in your life that can be proudly displayed on the walls. I reviewed a canvas late last year from Asda Photo and they really are amazing.

A mothers day cup and a card

Personalised Cards from £1.90
Make mum feel extra special this Mother’s Day, by creating and designing your own personalised card tailored specifically to her.

Personalised Mugs from £8.00
A personalised mug is a sure fire way to brighten up your mum’s morning. Choose from a range of designs to match her style and add her favourite photo.

Do you think your mum would like any of these things?

I was sent the Slate Photo Panel free of charge in exchange for this blog post.

Tuesday 25 February 2020

Five ‎scrumptious pancake recipes!

Get your frying pans at the ready as one my favourite days of the year is here! It's pancake day, hip, hip, hooray! 

Did you know that it is estimated that us Brits use a staggering 52 million eggs on Pancake Day, 22 million more than on a regular day!

Traditional pancakes using just flour, eggs and milk and topping with lemon juice and sugar are good but there are so many more options out there.

If you are looking for something a little different, here's some ideas:

Banana pancakes.

These delicious 2 ingredient banana pancakes are much healthier than your average pancake recipe and take only minutes to cook.

These light and fluffy Nutella pancakes are simply delicious and come drizzled in a smooth and creamy hot chocolate sauce. Adding booze to the sauce is optional but highly recommended for an extra treat!

A packed pancake that makes a delicious lunch or dinner meal.

American-style pancakes are usually made with buttermilk, but low fat Greek style yogurt does the job perfectly and you can serve any leftovers with the pancakes. These go brilliantly with a spoonful of rhubarb compote.

Kids and adults alike will love these super colourful pancakes, perfect for a celebratory breakfast or brunch. Stack them up and top with whipped cream, maple syrup and mixed berries.

Will you be eating pancakes today? What type and what will you be having on them?

Monday 24 February 2020

Our weekly meal plan! 24th Feb - 1st March. #MealPlanningMonday

Last weeks meal plan went surprisingly well considering our plans weren't set in stone and it was half term. We ate just about everything on the day I had planned. Hooray! On Saturday our plans changed and instead of eating out we just raided the freezer and had chicken nuggets, corn on the cob, onion rings and garlic bread.

After the faff on I had with Asda groceries I am back with shopping with Tesco and I don't know how or why but my weekly shop was a fair bit cheaper than I'd been paying with Asda. I signed up with Tesco's delivery pass which is more expensive than Asda's but after I had done my first shop in a while I got a £15 off voucher for a £90 plus shop which is brilliant because next week is the week where I buy all the things I don't buy every week like washing powder, cleaning stuff and toiletries and it usually comes to about £100. 

This week the kids are back to school and college and we will be back into a routine. It's pancake day on Tuesday and the kids are looking forward to it. I already have all the supplies in to fill my families bellies with pancakes and this year I remembered the lemon juice. hehehe

This week on the menu we have:

Monday - Pie, mash & peas.
Tuesday - Pancakes!. 
Friday - Pizza.
Saturday - Corndogs and fries.
Sunday - A fry up. Sausages, bacon, hash browns, tomatoes, baked beans, mushrooms and black pudding. 

What are you eating this week?

Sunday 23 February 2020

Driving in her car. #MySundaySnapshot

While we were out shopping in Hull on Monday Ellie, my youngest and her friend decided that it would be fun to have a ride in one of those kiddy cars. I am so surprised that they both didn't get stuck! I did try to tell them off but couldn't for laughing.

Saturday 22 February 2020

Week 8 of #Project366 - A photo every day for a year!

Half term has flown over. It doesn't seem like the kids have had a full week off school and college, in fact my teen has had more of a week off with her finishing her week on a Wednesday. We've had a good balance of being busy, being sociable and also having time to relax.

Now for a photo every day!

A box of tissues and my daughter and I trying out facemasks
My youngest eating lunch out and a dinosaur bubble bar
A photo of the Prolific website
A TikTok playlist and my two girls sitting waiting to go out.

46/366 - 15th February
I was full of cold and went through a box of tissues in about 24 hours. I feel much better now despite still having a snotty nose.

47/366 - 16th February
My teen and I were trying out some Disney face masks. They are a lot of fun and even more so when someone knocks at the door when you have one on. Thankfully it was just one of Ellie's friends. 

48/366 - 17th February
We were out all day on Monday shopping in Hull. We stopped off for something to eat in an all you can eat buffet place. We certainly got our moneys worth.

49/366 - 18th February
I bought some bath bombs from Lush when we were in Hull and inside one of the Easter one's was this little dinosaur bubble bar. So cute.

50/366 - 19th February
I signed up to Prolific a few weeks ago after seeing Katy Kicker mention it on her Insta-Stories. It's a site where you get paid to take surveys. The minimum cash out is £5 and I have cashed out twice already. It's not a big money maker but the surveys are mostly short and I get quite a few a day. I leave it open in a browser when I am doing other things on my computer and when a survey pops up I join in with it.

51/366 - 20th February
Becky made a playlist on Spotify of a lot of the songs used on TikTok. I went through and deleted the one's which had really bad language which I didn't want Ellie hearing. Some of the songs were really bad.

52/366 - 21st February
My girls.

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(Ad - Gifted) Thinking ahead to the warmer months with Havaianas!

It's not quite flip flop wearing weather but I am sure the summer will be here before we know it and fluffy socks and boots will be ditched and sandals and flip flops will be brought out and worn.

I think the most well know type of flip flops is the iconic Brazilian flip flop brand, Havaianas. I was lucky to be sent a couple of pairs to be featured and to be honest I wish it was summer already.

The first pair of Havaianas were created in 1962 and were inspired by Japanese zori sandals. The brand is sold in more than 80 countries and they are continuously updating it's styles and adding different designs, colours and even things like adding special edition crystals and metallic floral embellishments. Despite these changes the design’s signature textured rubber sole and thong has remained virtually the same since its earliest days in the 60s.

Brazil's original and authentic flip-flops in a wide range of colours. This model includes the Brazilian flag on the strap and the logo is coloured. With eleven different colours, there's something for every taste. The sole has 3 rubber stripes in three of Brazil's colours yellow, green and blue which make it one the most famous models of Havaianas.

Havaianas Retratos - £22.00

Havaianas act as a blank canvas and this range shows off the work of Tarsila Do Amaral.

In Paris Tarsila Do Amaral developed her signature style of vibrant colours capturing landscapes from her native Brazil as well as folkloric scenes familiar to the everyday lives of Brazilians. Tarsila is counted amongst the founding artists of the modernist art movement in Brazil in the 1920s. 

In the summer I like to wear flip flops and usually buy a cheap pair from the pound shop. I end up with a sore patch between my toes and they usually fall to bits within a few weeks. I had never thought about buying Havaianas before but after trying them on and having a walk around in them I will be. 

The Havaianas are so comfortable and that's even before I've really worn them in and shaped them to my feet. There isn't that uncomfortable feeling between my toes and I can see me getting a lot of wear out of them in the warmer months.

With Mother's Day coming next month a pair of Havaianas would make a great gift. I know I would be happy to receive a pair. Havaianas offer a wide range of styles, colours and designs, there is something for everyone.

I was sent these Havaianas free of charge in exchange for this blog post.

Friday 21 February 2020

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

This week my Word of the Week is:

The kids have been off school and college this past week for half term and they have been quite sociable. I'd say they have spent more time with friends than with me. lol

We finally had our first visit to Hull on Monday and took Ellie's friend along with us. It was such a fun day but when Ellie and her friend are together they never shut up!! Boy can tween girls shop. We spent about an hour and a half in Primark so they could decide what they wanted and they dragged me into Build a Bear. All the outfits are so adorable but they're so expensive. I finally got to meet Ellie's friends mum when she picked her up. I've spoken through text message, seen her from a distance but it was my first time meeting her and she's just fab! 

On Tuesday Becky had her friends over. They were in and out all day, up in Becky's room playing on her old Xbox and watching TV. I fed them. It's a good job it was fajitas so I could just bulk it up a bit with peppers and onions because I wasn't expecting to feed 2 extra mouths. I said next time they're stopping for tea to let me know. It was gone 9pm when they left. I'm guessing they enjoyed themselves as they're on about coming back. lol

We also had an engineer out to look at our broadband. Since last week our internet speed has dropped by more than half. We are supposed to get more than 60mbps and we were getting less than 20. I wasn't expecting him as Sky said he wouldn't need access to the house, if we had known Stu would have been hear to deal with him. I didn't know the answers to most of what he was asking. I put him on speakerphone to Stu who was at work. I didn't like the man, he talked down to me. I said our speed has dropped since the Open Reach men were working in a hole a few doors up. He said there's been no work done here or in this area so that couldn't be it. Well I must have imagined the men down the hole and running about with big yellow cables! Grr! He did his tests on our line and left saying he would speak to the Openreach men who are installing fibre broadband at the top of our street and tell them to have a look at ours. Grr! I pulled him up on it and said I thought there was no work being done in this area. He just grunted and walked off. Complaints have been made but our internet seems to be fixed. Stu has been doing speed tests and he's getting at least 70mbps. Hooray!

By Wednesday I felt all peopled out. I love that my girls have friends and they bring them around but sometimes I want it to be just us. I wanted to be able to spill my soup down my jumper and don't feel like I have to change it straight away and be able to fart without worrying about who will hear. hahaha

As I write this blog post (yesterday) Ellie is in the dining room playing Roblox and talking to her friends on that and Becky is chatting to her friends on Messenger. I've told her if she has to video chat to keep me out of it. lol It's a wet day so no one will be calling for Ellie which is a shame because she's starting to get a bit of cabin fever. We're out today for a look around the local auction to see what is been sold tomorrow. We will have to get someone to bid for us if there's anything we see as we're going into town tomorrow. We're sending the kids into the cinema while Stu and I do some shopping.

Thursday 20 February 2020

A half term trip to Hull!

Since we moved near Scunthorpe in the summer, visiting Hull has been on our to do list but up until earlier on in this week something we hadn't done! By bus it is an hour away which might seem like a long journey to some but we are used to it. When we lived in Norhtumberland Newcastle, the nearest city was about 50 minutes away. At least with going to Hull we have the novelty of going over the Humber Bridge.

A view over the water from the Humber Bridge

The kids are off school for half term this week so it seemed the perfect time to go. I was a panicking that Storm Dennis was going to stop us going. When we had storm ciara the bridge was closed to all traffic because of the wind and it is the only route to Hull. I was worried the same was going to happen. Thankfully it was fine!

Ellie's friend R came along with us so Ellie was doubly excited for a day out. They had big plans and a list of shops they had to visit starting with Build a Bear in St Stephen's Shopping Centre, one of the 3 shopping centre's in Hull. I think I did well managing to talk the girls out of buying a bear. They all had their spending money and to buy one would practically wipe their budget. I don't think I had ever been in one of their stores before and they're pretty amazing! All of the outfits are just amazing! They have everything from Frozen, Star Wars, Marvel heroes and wedding dresses.

Star wars Build a bear costumes

Next up we hit The Entertainer. The kids had great fun in there, even Becky. The staff are always so fun and friendly. The kids were messing around with the big heads and one of the staff members saw my phone in my hand and said "go on, take a photo, you know you want to!". I did. lol 

My girls and their friend with funny unicorn heads on

The girls spent a bit of their money and then we actually went to buy Ellie's new school shoes the one thing we actually needed to go shopping for. Ellie is usually a nightmare when we buy shoes but this time she was on her best behaviour because her friend was with us. I think I might borrow her every time we need to get new one's. lol

We then went on the hunt for Primark and just as we turned a corner I spotted Lush! I can't remember the last time I had one of their bath bombs and just had to go in and buy a couple. 

The shelves filled with Lush bath bombs

We finally found Primark and we were all in heaven. We spent a good hour and a half looking around deciding on what to buy. They have a great range of Stranger Things products in and some Billie Ellish (the singer) clothes which pleased the girls greatly. They all bought a couple of things and I was very good and bought nothing at all. As big as the Primark is in Hull, I do prefer the one in Scunthorpe as there is more bargains to be had with their reduced red stickers.

It was about half past one when we realised that our stomachs were starting to rumble and we needed lunch. We knew exactly where we were going. Wing's International Cuisine, an all you can eat buffet. Ellie's friend R had mentioned it and earlier on in the day we had walked past and people were queuing to get in so we thought it must be good. The choice of food was amazing and there was some that I had never even tried before. It was all piping hot and tasted so good! There was a good choice of desserts too. The girls and I had 2 plates of mains, I just had one lot of dessert but the kids had 2. Stu had 3 plates of mains and one dessert. We definitely got our moneys worth. I am going to write a separate blog post all about it as I thought it was such a fantastic place to eat.

By the time we had eaten and looked around a few more shops it was coming on for 4pm and time to start heading home. I didn't want to leave it too late with the weather being the way it was.

It was a fantastic day out. I think we're going to have to head back to Hull soon for another look around the shops as there was so many that we never got chance to look around or even find. We all had a great day and were glad to get home and finally sit down.