Tuesday, 28 September 2021

The Autumn Tag. 2021 edition.

 It is officially Autumn! I do love this time of year. I do like summer but can't be doing with feeling hot and sweaty all of the time. Lately has been the perfect temperature for me. Cold enough to wear cosy jumpers but not cold enough to have to wear a coat. 

Autumn. A bench on fallen leaves

What signifies the start of Autumn for you?
The kids going back to school and Strictly Come Dancing starting!

What do you love about Autumn?
Crisp, cold mornings, the darker nights, getting cosy on an evening with the curtains closed, snuggling under blankets, crunchy leaves and hot chocolate.

What do you dislike about Autumn?
Rain and knowing that winter will be here before we know it.

Are you a fan of PSL (Pumpkin Spice Latte)?
I have never tried one. I say I will every year but I never do.

Apple pie or Pumpkin Pie. What’s your favourite?
Apple with custard, cream or ice cream. Yum, yum!

What is your favourite comfort food to enjoy in the colder months?
Casseroles! My favourite meal has to be sausage casserole, mash, swede and parsnips.

What is your favourite Autumn scent?
Bonfires or that smell on a cold, crisp morning.

What is your favourite Autumn Candle?
For the last few years I have got a Gingerbread candle from Home Bargains and it smells so good. Even Stu who isn't a fan of candles loves it.

Gingerbread candle

Do you decorate your home for autumn?
Not really. All I really do is bring more of my candles out to the front of my fireplace and get the cosy, snuggly blankets out from the cupboard under the stairs.

Most worn sweater?
It has to be one of my Harry Potter one's or maybe my oversized black and white woolly one.

What changes do you look forward to in Autumn?
Hopefully Covid going away but that is doubtful. I will make do with the leaves on the ground, the weather getting a little bit colder and having to wear my boots.

What Is the Best Way to Spend a Rainy Day?
In my pj's, watching good TV, something like Friends, Doctor Who or Gavin & Stacey, snuggling under a blanket and having a mug of hot chocolate.

What TV show, new or old, are you looking forward to in the next few months?
Strictly and The Great British Bake Off.

Halloween - love or hate?
I like it better since I have had kids but I am still not a huge fan.

Pumpkin picking from the fields or the supermarket?
We tried to grow our own pumpkins but we got leaves and that's it. I would like to go to our local farm shop and get the pumpkins but if not we will be getting them from Tesco.

Do you ever do anything fun for Halloween?
We always have a party tea and the kids go out trick or treating but I don't know this year, it depends about the virus.

Do you like Autumn?

Monday, 27 September 2021

Our weekly meal plan! 27th September - 3rd October. #MealPlanningMonday

Our weekly meal plan

We got through the weekend without Ellie testing positive for Covid and that seems like a great achievement since all of Ellie's friends seem to be catching the virus. It is rife at her school. 

Another achievement was the meal plan from last week. It went well. There were a couple of minor changes. I couldn't get any parsnips for the roast dinner, the chicken thighs in the Tex-Mex chicken taco traybake ended up being chicken breasts, my family had fish, chips and mushy peas on Friday and I found some Scampi in the freezer so had that. I felt like I was winning at life.

We don't have much planned this week. Stu and I might be going to town today. We're at that point where we need lots of random things like pegs, puncture repair supplies, paint for my bargain dressing table, teaspoons and some other bits. I think Wilko's is going to get a few pounds off me. lol Apart from that we don't have much on. I am looking forward to a nice relaxed week. Fingers crossed anyway. 

On the menu this week we have:

MondaySausage casserole, mash & veg.
TuesdayLazy chicken curry.
Wednesday - Tomato risotto.
Thursday - Breakfast burritos.
Friday - Pizza.
Sunday - Mince, dumplings and mashed potato.

What are you eating this week?

Meal planning linky

Sunday, 26 September 2021

A pretty pink sky! #MySundayPhoto

I don't know if it's because it's getting darker earlier and I am in the kitchen when the sun is setting or it's this time of year but I am noticing the pretty sun sets more. There has been some fantastic sunsets this week. Pretty pink skies are the best sight.

Pretty pink sky

My Sunday Photo linky

Saturday, 25 September 2021

Week 38 of #Project365. 18th - 24th September. A photo every day for a year!

I have had a pretty stressful week. Mostly revolving around Covid. The school is back to wearing masks, class bubbles and social distancing. All the year 10's and 11's were asked to take a PCR test to check if they had the virus without showing symptoms. Ellie's close friend tested positive on Thursday so I am thinking it's just a matter of time before she catches it too.

Despite all of the worry it was a good week but I am glad it's the weekend. I went to the auction viewing yesterday and there is nothing much that I fancy buying but I think we still might go just for a walk out, something to eat in the cafe and a gossip with people we know. 

Now for a photo every day!

My youngest and a negative covid test
Dressing table and a cake
Bread, eggs and bacon
Another negative Covid test and my eldest

254/365 - 18th September
My youngest waiting for her lunch from the cafe while we were at the auction.

255/365 - 19th September
A negative lateral flow test. We are doing them every day now as instructed by the school.

256/365 - 20th September
My dad dropped the dressing table off that I bought from the local auction on Saturday. I got the stool and the dressing table for £5 which was a bargain. I am sanding it down and repainting it.

257/365 - 21st September
I won a Bakerdays letterbox cake and it arrived. We have had all the birthday's so I decided to treat Ellie as she has done so well at school. 

258/365 - 22nd September
Lunchtime. Bacon and egg sandwiches.

259/365 - 23rd September
Ellie's PCR test came back negative which I expected but her best friend did test positive on Thursday night.

260/365 - 24th September
Becky waiting for her girlfriend to arrive. They're spending the weekend here.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Friday, 24 September 2021

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

This week my Word of the Week is:

Stress

What a week, it has been full of little stressors, nothing major just things which have caused me worry. Thankfully just about everything has been resolved now and those things that haven't been resolved there's nothing I can do.

A few weeks ago I noticed I wasn't getting the child benefit money for both of my girls. Silly me had forgotten to tell the child benefit people that Becky was still in full time education. I thought that telling them last year that she was doing a two year course would be enough, it turns out it's not. After a phone call and filling in an online form I waited and waited. It took them 4 days to receive the form, a week for the process to be complete and then I had to wait again.

Online child benefit form

I was signed up to receive paper letters, not online one's. Ugh so I am still waiting for a letter but on Wednesday I checked my bank and money for the last 3 weeks has been paid. Phew! It was such a relief. £14 a week child benefit might not seem like a lot but not claiming that would have a knock on effect. Becky wouldn't be able to have the cheap bus pass and finance from college, child maintenance would have been stopped and we would have lost any other money we claim for her then she would have to claim Universal Credit as she would have been classed as not in our care or something like that, I'm not sure how it works. I am so glad it's all sorted now.

We have been getting updates about the virus from the school most days and they have been stressing me out. This time last week when 13 more cases were confirmed at school I was thinking I'd rather not know! By Monday it was back masks worn around school, daily lateral flow testing, all assemblies were cancelled and the return to class bubbles which don't really apply to years 10 and 11 as they all go off to different classes depending on which subjects they have chosen to study. It's no shock the highest cases are in those years. On Monday we got a message for all the kids in years 10 & 11 to book a PCR test as soon as possible so they can identify anyone who is asymptomatic and that will help to reduce the spread of infection. Our nearest testing centre is 2 bus rides away so we had one delivered.

Home test kit

Ellie is just about at the end of her tether with all of the tests and is showed on Tuesday. There were tantrums and tears. I think it's because she knows that the PCR test is more serious than the lateral flow test and everyone who she knows who's taken one has had Covid. Despite my reassurances she was not happy.

Last night Ellie's friend rang to let me know that one of their close friends has tested positive and to do a lateral flow test. We did and thankfully they were all negative and late last night we got Ellie's PCR test results. It was negative! Phew! Ellie has spent time with the person who tested positive every day this week, I saw the boy today and he didn't look like he was ill in any way. It's such a worry. I'm going to try not to stress about it. It seems inevitable that Ellie is going to catch it and it seems it will be sooner rather than later at the moment.

The whole debacle with the energy crisis was stressing me out but it turns out we're on a fixed tariff until December so there shouldn't be an increase in our bill just yet. I checked on other tariffs and usually there isn't much difference in the tariff I'm on and a different tariff but looking now the best one is an extra £584.92 per year. Ugh! It's not good. My dad was with one of the companies which went bust but he has sorted it now. I know British Gas can be more expensive than other companies but at least I know they're not going bust anytime soon.

One thing I am still stressing about is Christmas! It's been all over the news about supermarkets struggling and there could be food shortages. It's just going to encourage panic buying. Last year we couldn't spend Christmas with friends and family and had all the food to eat and this year we can spend time with anyone but we'll have none of the Christmas treats to eat. I struggle to get a grocery delivery slot most weeks still so I am not holding out much hope of getting one for Christmas. lol

How's your week been?


Thursday, 23 September 2021

The 20 greatest kitchen disco songs!

Whenever I am in the kitchen cooking I have to have music on. The music falls into two types. Songs that I can sing along to, those that I can sing very loudly to like power ballads or songs that I can have a little dance to.

New research of British families has revealed the kitchen disco, complete with wooden spoons for microphones and embarrassing dad dancing, is alive and well with four in ten households enjoying more home discos over the last 18 months than ever before!

When it comes to family kitchen discos Saturday night at 6pm was revealed to be the most common time for families to have a boogie, while half of parents said dancing with their kids had lifted their spirits over the last year. That is so true. We always seem to congregate in the kitchen on a Saturday night as we are all home, ready for something nice to eat and a bit of fun with it being the weekend.

Disco ball

The 20 greatest kitchen disco songs of all times according to parents:

Dancing Queen - Abba 
I Wanna Dance with Somebody - Whitney Houston
Happy - Pharrell Williams
Shake It Off - Taylor Swift
Don’t Stop Me Now - Queen
I Will Survive - Gloria Gaynor
Wannabe - The Spice Girls
Summer of 69 - Bryan Adams
Uptown Funk - Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars
Can’t Stop the Feeling - Justin Timberlake
Bohemian Rhapsody - Queen
Like a Prayer - Madonna
Sweet Child O Mine - Guns N Roses
Come on Eileen - Dexys Midnight Runners
Rock Your Body - Justin Timberlake
Hey Ya! - Outkast
It’s Raining Men - The Weather Girls
Sex on Fire - Kings of Leon
Staying Alive - The Bee Gees
Crazy in Love - Beyonce

Dancing in the kitchen must be good for our mental health, to let off a bit of steam and just to have a bit of fun. I know if I have had a dance in the kitchen I always leave smiling and it certainly gives the kids something to laugh about.

I can honestly say I have most probably danced to all of these songs in my kitchen, have you?

Wednesday, 22 September 2021

(Ad - Gifted) Fresh, premium food delivered from Love Yourself!

I have been on a bit of a health kick lately. I am trying to lose a little weight and feel better in myself. I have been exercising, cutting out the snacks and eating smaller portions so when I was asked if I would like to try a food delivery service called Love Yourself I thought why not. 

Love Yourself deliver premium food, freshly prepared by a Michelin trained chef to your door. Ideal for people who have hectic lives and those wanting to get balanced and nutritious meals.

Love Yourself delivery

My order was delivered on Tuesday morning and despite it coming via DPD it was well chilled and the food looked great considering it came all of the way from London.
 It is recommended you eat the meals the day after delivery, but if kept in a fridge, they will keep for 2 to 3 days. Love Yourself have dishes inspired from all around the world, the menus are updated weekly and with over 500 dishes the guarantee is that no menu will be the same within any given month.

There are several different meal plans to choose from low carb, vegetarian, keto, halal, veto, performance and gluten free to name a few. I went with the balanced diet.

The Balanced Diet is for you if: You want to adopt healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle, you're trying to lose weight, you don’t have time to cook for yourself, you want to maintain your weight, you aren’t afraid to try new flavours, you want fresh, exciting meals every day and you are new to dieting.

Love Yourself meals

With the balanced diet you get sent 5 meals each day, breakfast, lunch, dinner and 2 snacks. I thought the 2 snacks were a great idea. I am getting better at eating healthily for my main meals but my snacking does sometime let me down.

The menus are constantly changing with new innovative dishes every week that are calorie-controlled and there are different calorie options to choose from – 1200, 1500, 2000 and 2500.

All of the meals are ready made and just need to be warmed in an oven or microwave which means you don't have to spend time preparing and cooking the food.

On Wednesday I ate:

Baked apple and oat cake with blueberry yoghurt & HummusChicken tikka masala with rice & goji berries
Chocolate brownie and Nectarine & broad bean salad

Breakfast - Baked apple and oat cake with blueberry yoghurt.
Morning Snack - Sweet potato hummus.
Lunch - Chicken tikka masala with rice & goji berries.
Afternoon snack - Chocolate brownie.
Dinner – Nectarine & broad bean salad.

There was a lot of this food I would say I wasn't keen on but I was pleasantly surprised that I enjoyed most of it. I imagined the baked apple and oat cake being more cake like but it wasn't, it felt more dense and made me think of fruity stuffing that I buy at Christmas. It was nice and I did actually like the blueberry yoghurt. I wouldn't normally eat hummus but gave this a try, it's still not for me but I did eat a good chunk of it. The Chicken tikka masala was amazing! It's not a curry I would usually choose but there was a good amount of chicken and the flavours were so good. It was a really filling meal. You can't go wrong with a chocolate brownie and the nectarine and broad bean salad was interesting. I haven't eaten anything like that before, my head was thinking it wasn't much of a meal but my stomach was satisfied with it and I felt quite full. The raspberry and basil dressing was pretty and so full of flavour.
 
On Thursday I ate:

Scrambled eggs and Sweetcorn and feta muffin

Breakfast - Scrambled eggs with homemade country style bread
Morning snack - Sweetcorn and feta muffin
Lunch - Classic beef bolognaise with pasta
Afternoon snack - Apple and banana slice
Dinner - Cumin-spiced lentils with chicken

I usually find that scrambled eggs don't do well when they are reheated but these tasted great and weren't rubbery like I thought they would be. The country style bread was so good but it was annoying that it came in 2 bits and I had to put it under the grill instead of just popping it in the toaster. The sweetcorn and feta muffin was nice and is something I am going to try and make myself. I would usually go for sweet muffins but this was a nice change. The beef bolognaise with pasta was great, it tasted exactly like the one I make for my family but with added veg. The apple and banana slice was interesting, it was a lot like the baked apple and oat cake in texture. The yoghurt which came with it was nice too. The Cumin-spiced lentils with chicken was not what I expected it was mostly Brussel sprouts. I usually love Brussel sprouts but I was not keen on these. They tasted soggy and I managed a few mouthfuls before I gave up on this meal.

It is all down to personal taste though, something I might hate you might love and vice versa. I was very impressed with the meals. I tried things I wouldn't normally have tried and liked them. The portions were a good size, especially the lunch and I'd say the majority of the food reheated well. It did feel strange eating my main, more filling meal at lunch time but by the time evening came I wasn't feeling full and bloated. It felt like I had more energy come 7pm when I would usually be wanting to sit down and do nothing.

 Love Yourself food label

All of the meals are labelled with ingredients, nutritional info and allergens so you know exactly what you are getting. If you are not keen on a certain meal or have allergies Love Yourself allow substitutes of up to 2 items for allergies and intolerances, as well as dietary preferences but certain items may be difficult to exclude. The meals are made in a facility that handles nuts, eggs, soya, sesame, celery and dairy products so we cannot guarantee that traces of these ingredients will not be present in the meals.

All of the containers are biodegradable and 90 days compostable. The bags are made of paper and the bottles are made from 100% recyclable plastics.

The price you pay for the meals depend on which plan you choose. For the balanced diet it cost £26 for one days worth of meals which to be honest is way above my budget but if I did have the money I would be happy to pay that price as the meals are so good and they are very convenient. 

Have you tried a delivery service like this before?

I was sent 2 days of meals from Love Yourself free of charge in exchange for this blog post.

Tuesday, 21 September 2021

Our 2021 summer bucket list - How we did!

It is officially the first day of Autumn tomorrow, seriously where is this year going? It is flying over. Summer was gone in a flash but we had a great time. Back at the end of June I wrote a list of things that I wanted to do, a summer bucket list.

Sunglasses on sand

Have a barbecue - We had plenty. None of them were big one's, we would just light the barbecue when it seemed too hot in the kitchen to cook burgers or sausages. Our kitchen has a massive window and gets all of the sun from lunchtime so it's like a sauna in there.

Paddle in the sea - We never got to the beach. We were planning to go at the end of the summer holidays but the weather wasn't great, in fact it was terrible. Not beach weather at all.

Sit in the garden and drink cocktails/mocktails - We sort of did this. I became obsessed with the strawberry lemonade from Costa so when I found the Don Simon Lemon & Strawberry Juice Drink from Asda I was very happy, it tasted just like the Costa drink. I loved filling a glass with ice and that and sitting in the garden sometimes sunbathing and sometimes watching the sun set which both were also on our bucket list.

Have a picnic in a park - We did go to the Co-op and get a meal deal and sat in the park and ate it. We sometimes fell lucky and caught the park when it was just about empty and there was no queue for the zipline.

My eldest on the zipline
My fella working in the garden

Paint the shed and garage - Yes, Stu did that, it looks so much better than it did before. He also got around to filling in the cracks on the concrete part of the garden. He will have to do that again as he added too much sand to the mix and when it dried it was too dry and sandy.

Go to the cinema - Becky and Ellie had a couple of trips to the cinema and I went too when it was Ellie's birthday weekend. We went to see Peter Rabbit 2 and it was such a fun film. One for all of the family. Cute animals for the kids and jokes for the adults too.

Go on plenty of bike rides - We didn't go on as many as I would have liked but we did get out and about. Both the girls now know how to fix punctures. We were out once and Ellie's front wheel got a puncture. She was not happy but thankfully we were on our way home and not too far away. I gave her mine to ride but the seat was too high so we walked and pushed the bikes home.

Go and eat at McDonalds - Our nearest McDonalds is a faff to get to with us having to take 2 buses so we never go. The only time we got to McDonalds is when we have a trip to Hull and we went twice over the summer. I do love McDonalds food and my usual order is McChicken sandwich, fries and a fruity drink, over the summer I had their strawberry lemonade and I also get a hamburger. Yum, Yum.

McDonalds wrappers and tomatoes

Go fruit picking - We never got around to going fruit picking but I did end up picking a lot of tomatoes off my plants in the garden. I did so well this year and seemed to be getting a hand full of cherry tomatoes every couple of days.

Have a water fight - We never got around to having a water fight, I did buy the Bunch O Balloons though so they are ready for next year.

Organise all of the photos we have on the computers - Back in April Stu had some issues with the hard drive where all of our photos are on. He lost them all for a short time but managed to get them back via a recovery programme. It put them all, thousands in one folder so they all needed sorting again into separate folders like days out, different birthdays and things like that. Stu started sorting them in April and then I took over sorting them whenever I got a spare 10 minutes. We're just about there, I'd say about 75% of the photos are organised. I will keep on at it.

Visit a tourist attraction that we've never been to in our own town - It wasn't my town but it was in Hull one of our nearest towns. We went to The Deep, an aquarium. It was such a fun day and we will be going back as it's one of those places where you pay once and get free entry for a year.

A shark

Have a meal or two out - We had more than a couple of meals out. We went out for the girls birthdays and some at the start of the summer. We have got into the habit of going to the cafe when we go to our local auction. Their burgers are the best.

Have a pint of something in a beer garden - We finally had a pint of cider in a beer garden when it was Becky's birthday. It was such a lovely day too, the sun was shining and I felt like a 19 year old again. hehehe

We didn't have an afternoon tea, find a fairground or make our own ice lollies but it really didn't matter. We had a fantastic summer. We had plenty of family time, days out, laughs and lots of memories were made.

Did you have a good summer?

Monday, 20 September 2021

Our weekly meal plan! 20th - 26th September. #MealPlanningMonday

Our weekly meal plan

Last weeks meal plan went well. We skipped the quiches on Tuesday as it was chucking it down all day and we wanted something filling and warming. We had sausages, mashed potato and baked beans, proper comfort food. Yesterday we had corned beef hash. I am loving all these hearty meals and have a few more coming up this week as the weather doesn't look too great.

On Wednesday and Thursday I was trying out a food delivery service which you will be able to read about later in the week. I tried a lot of new things and ate very well. One of the most interesting meals was nectarine and broad bean salad. I would never have thought of eating that usually but it was delicious. 

Ellie has a few things on this week at school. She has put her name down to help out with the school open evening for the year 6's. She just wants to have a nosy as we know a few families with kids starting year 7 next year. I am not too sure about it now with the rise in Covid cases at school. I don't even think it will go ahead to be honest, we got an email from school saying it's back to wearing masks around school and class bubbles with the kids staying in one classroom and the teachers moving around the school. I don't know how that's going to work as all the kids are doing different subjects for their GCSE's.

On the menu this week we have:

Monday - A roast chicken dinner. Roast chicken, roast potatoes and parsnips, carrots, broccoli, sprouts, pigs in blankets and peas.
Wednesday - Beef stew cooked in the slow cooker.
Thursday - Tuna pasta bake.
Friday - Fish, chips and mushy peas.
Saturday - Pizza.
Sunday - Toad in the hole, mash and veg.

What are you eating this week?

Meal planning linky

Sunday, 19 September 2021

The best pizza! #MySundayPhoto

On Saturday we went out for something to eat, continuing Becky's birthday celebrations after being to an arcade place. When we had eaten out to celebrate Ellie's birthday at Wetherspoons Ellie had got herself a pizza and we all had regrets that we didn't get one. It looked so good. We made up for it and myself and my girls got pizza when we ate out for Becky's birthday. I had a BBQ chicken one and it was amazing!!! It was one of those meals that I thought about for days afterwards!

Pizza

My Sunday Photo linky

Saturday, 18 September 2021

Week 37 of #Project365. 11th - 17th September. A photo every day for a year!

Another week has flown over. We seem to have dropped back into the school routine quite easily although getting up on a morning is still a struggle even with the early nights we've all been having.

Every day I seem to be getting a message from Ellie's school with an update about Covid cases. It's not good. There has been lots of positive cases. Three in Ellie's year on and one of them from someone in her class on Wednesday and yesterday there was another 13 positive cases reported. Ugh. It is stressing me out and it feels like it's just a matter of time before Ellie catches it.

Our local auction has been closed for a couple of weeks, it was their summer holiday and it's opening back up today and we should be going to bid on a few things. I am very excited to see people and have a few hours out of the house.

Now for a photo every day!

My eldest & fella on an arcade machine
Science homework
Fortnite win and paint in water
Lip balm
Scrambled egg on toast and music on my phone

247/365 - 11th September
We went to an arcade place over the weekend. We all had a great time. There was retro games like Streetfighter, Donkey Kong, VR machines, Air Hockey and so much more. We could have easily spent more than 2 hours there.

248/365 - 12th September
Science homework for Ellie that I could help with. I know about the periodic table, I remember learning about it at school.

249/365 - 13th September
A new season of Fortnite and my first win of the season. A sneaky one. There was me and someone else left and they must have gave up or ended up killing themselves. I'll take it though, a win is a win. hehehe

250/365 - 14th September
I tried out a craft subscription box and did some marbling. It's something I had never done before and had great fun with it.

251/365 - 15th September
It's that time of the year where I start using a lot of lip balm. I really need to buy more, this is over a year old. Eek! 

252/365 - 16th September
I have been trying out a food delivery service and Thursday's breakfast was scrambled egg on country style bread.

253/365 - 17th September
I had a walk out to my dads and this was what I was listening to on the way. Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. It is one of my all time favourite soundtracks.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Friday, 17 September 2021

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

This week my Word of the Week is:

Routine

This past week has flown over. It has been a good week where everything seemed to go to plan and we seem to have found a good routine. 

Becky had a wonderful birthday weekend. She got all of the presents she wanted and more, had a fun day at the arcade place which I must write about and had a great time at her girlfriends nieces Christening. She went to college straight from her girlfriends which I was worried about but she got there on time. She came home Monday evening and was shattered. It was early nights all around.

The kids have settled in well back at school and college. I can't get across how much Ellie is loving school at the moment. She is excited every day, she's even coming home and excited to show me her homework and she's been doing it straight away. She is in such a good routine. Over the last couple of years she hasn't been great at doing her homework but now she's excelling herself. I am hoping it lasts for the next couple of years until she leaves school.

Stu and I have found a new routine. He gets a lie in on a Monday, his day off from work and I get to have one if I choose on a Wednesday. This week I didn't, I took the time for myself and had a soak in the bath and a bit of a pamper. It was nice but now I am thinking I should have had the lie in, I was tired yesterday despite going to bed every night at a sensible time. Even the kids have got back into the routine of going to bed early. After them staying up late during the summer holidays I thought it would have been more or a struggle getting back into a decent sleep routine but it's gone well. 

I am back to doing the majority of the housework and jobs around the house now that the kids are back at school and college. I do a room a day doing a deep clean, the kids do their own bedrooms and then just have to hoover where is needed and wipe the kitchen benches and bathroom down every day.

To be honest I am surprised I have stuck to my housework routine with the new season of Fortnite starting. I stopped playing for a while because I wasn't feeling the love for it but I am hooked again. Everything seems simple. 

I am keeping up with my exercising. I do it on a morning as soon as Ellie leaves from school. I keep the curtains closed so no one can see and follow a work out routine off YouTube. I am so pleased that I have actually lost some weight. It's been a few weeks since I weighed myself and I've lost 4 pounds. At first I wasn't that impressed but then I had a word with myself and thought it's heading in the right direction and I should be proud of myself. I am frustrated that I can't go on the treadmill at the moment as I've hurt my ankle. I don't even know how, it's just hurts when I run. Hmmf.

How has your week been? I hope you've had a good one!

Word of the week linky

Thursday, 16 September 2021

(Ad - Gifted) Trying out Craftiosity! A craft subscription box.

Now that the kids are back at school I have a whole two days to myself and I have been trying to come up with things to occupy my time. There is only so much housework I can do. Recently I was sent a craft subscription box from Craftiosity to try out which gave me something to do for a couple of hours.

Craftiosity! A craft subscription box.
Craftiosity craft box

Each month a limited edition craft kit is sent out from Craftiosity. It could be macrame, ceramics, book binding or something completely different! Beautifully packaged, the box will arrive full of inspiration and all the materials, tools and instructions to make a complete project.

Each box contains:

A limited edition craft kit to make a complete project.
All the tools & materials you’ll need (you’ll just need household items like a pencil or ruler).
Clear step by step photo instructions
Online video tutorial.
A little something for your pinboard.
And regular surprises too!

The kit that I was sent was the Marbled Candle Holder Craft Kit. It really was beautifully packed and contained everything I needed including a wooden candle holder, a plastic tray which I didn't expect, white paint, a paintbrush, 2 marbling inks and disposable gloves (non-latex) which came in very handy.

Inside the Craftiosity box

For this project I was to be putting a marble design onto a modern candle holder. I have never tried marbling before but thought it was something which was a faff to do and very messy but it really wasn't.

There was a sheet with clear instructions on and if I got stuck I could watch a video tutorial. I didn't need to as the instructions were enough. I had to paint the candle holder, half fill the plastic tub with water and add drops of the marbling inks and then dip the candle holder in.

Painting the candle holder
Marbling
Candle holder

I was so impressed with the finished candle holder. It isn't perfect, I didn't managed to cover all of it but I like it. I actually thought I had done it wrong with big blocks of colour but on the instructions say big blocks are fine as well as smaller more detailed marbling.

This kit gave me the chance to try something I would never have thought of ever trying, it gave me a little boost and confidence to try new things. Everything included is of great quality and there is leftover paint which can and will be used for something else. I have looked back on the previous kits and there are so many that I would have loved to have tried, especially the Christmas themed one's.

You can subscribe easily to Craftiosity for £24.95 a month with free UK delivery and you can cancel your subscription at any time. You can also gift the boxes in a 1, 3, 6 or 12 month subscription.



I was sent the Craftiosity subscription box free of charge in exchange for this blog post.

Wednesday, 15 September 2021

A brilliant 19th birthday weekend for my eldest.

Becky turned 19 last week and she had the best few days. After Ellie had a weekend of celebrations it only seemed fair that Becky should too. Her birthday was on Friday and she was so pleased to have it off college. She is unlucky that her birthday is usually always on the first week of a new school year so spent most of them at school. Bless her.

She started her birthday of course opening her presents and cards. I said I wasn't going to get her much as we are paying for a passport so she can go away on holiday, hopefully next year but by the time all of her presents were wrapped there was quite a pile.

My eldest opening her birthday presents

Becky got everything she wanted and more. She was so happy with her new clothes and even the jokey presents that I had bought her. The Paw Patrol figure and Fabulosa cleaning set. Her girlfriend arrived just after 11am and brought more presents. Becky was well and truly spoilt.

We had planned to take Becky to the pub on her 18th birthday but due to Covid we didn't but her 19th birthday was a great excuse to have a little afternoon out and buy her a drink.

My eldest at the pub

The glass really isn't as big as it looks, it was taller than a normal pint glass but a lot thinner. It is just a pint of dark fruit cider. We had a sit in the beer garden and then had a few games of pool. It's the first time I have been to the local pub and I love it. It is so relaxed, there's loads of seating outside, the pool table is in a separate room so there's no one watching you mess up shots but the only complaint I have is the drinks are so expensive. A good couple of pounds dearer than pubs in the town.

My eldest playing pool

Stu and I came home in time for Ellie getting in from school and Becky and her girlfriend stopped at the pub to play more pool. I finished making the party tea and it was enjoyed. We had the usual chicken bits, sandwiches, crisps, spring rolls and picky bits. We had gone outside to sit and eat it as it was so warm in the house but no sooner as we had got comfy it started chucking it down.

Soon after we did the cakes. Becky chose them, a white chocolate one and a Friends one. I did order a newer version of the Friends one but it wasn't available so Tesco sent this one which was absolutely fine. Becky had it last year and it was delicious.

Birthday cakes

Saturday was day 2 of Becky's birthday celebrations. A little while ago Ellie's friend had been to an arcade place in town. You pay £7 and all the games are free. Becky loves things like that so it sounded perfect for her. Stu and I relived our childhood playing Donkey Kong, Air Hockey & Street Fighter and the kids played some of the games for the first time. As well as classic arcade games there was a console room with old console games and a PC room with different games including Fortnite. It really was brilliant. We were there for 2 hours and it flew over.

My eldest playing arcade games

After the arcade we headed off to Wetherspoons for a meal. Becky and I learned a lesson from when it was Ellie's birthday and went for the pizza that she had. I had the BBQ chicken one and it was amazing and Becky had ham and mushroom. Stu had his usual all day lunch and Becky's girlfriend had lasagne and chips.

When it was almost 4pm we left the pub and saw Becky and her girlfriend on to the bus, they were going back to "A's" house because they had a Christening to go to on Sunday.

It was a fantastic weekend but I am glad I am done with organising all of the birthdays for the year. 3 in 4 weeks is exhausting and has done nothing for my diet. lol