Friday 31 March 2023

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

This week my Word of the Week is:


Ellie is coming to the end of her time at secondary school and I just can't seem to get my head around it. As it is now Ellie has about 20 something school days before her GCSE exams start, when you take out all of the weekends, school holidays and banks holidays. Eek! Ellie is taking everything in her stride, it's me doing all of the worrying.

On Wednesday evening we were at Ellie's last ever parents evening and I couldn't have predicted how well it would have went. Ellie hasn't always been the best student at school, there was a time years ago where she was bullied relentlessly that she started suffering with social anxiety. We moved house and she had a fresh start in a new school and we finally had a bit of hope for her.

I get texts and messages from the school all of the time praising Ellie and telling me about how she is doing but I only seem to get a full grasp of how well she is doing when we go to parents evening. She has had lots of predicted grades over the years but they have gone up and down and they were only predicted depending on how much work she put in.

We saw Ellie's science teacher first who said she is easily getting 4's which is a C in Biology and Physics so just needs to work on Chemistry so that doesn't bring the combined score down. Chemistry is Ellie's weakest subject when it comes to Science but she's working on it.

English was up next and Ellie's teacher and I got through the chat without crying, just!! When Ellie started with the most amazing English teacher she was struggling to get a 3 which is a D a couple of years ago but thanks to the teacher, a small class and Ellie really enjoying the lessons she is now doing practice papers and is easily getting a 6 which is a B! With the paper Ellie is taking it's unlikely that she will get an A but we will happily take the B. The 6 is predicted but even if she gets the 5 it is better than anyone ever imagined. Miss R has said she will be using Ellie as an example in years to come to show students how far a student can come when they put the work in.

Maths has always been a bit hit and miss. Ellie has been predicted a 4 (C) but she had never reached it in the mock exams or practice papers so we were not holding out much hope but it turns out on the last mock Ellie got the 4 and then has carried on getting 4's on the practice papers. The maths teacher said when he saw the 4 he went running down the corridor to the English teacher to show her and celebrate. The maths teacher has said if Ellie gets the 6 for English and 4 for maths they will dance on tables for her. hehehe 

For photography Ellie is set to get a 5 (B). Lots of the GCSE course has been coursework so that is easily predicted and for engineering she has already passed thanks to her coursework and the exam could easily boost it to a merit.

The subject we were least looking forward to hearing about was Geography. She didn't want to do geography when she picked her options and has had 3 different teachers in a year and a half so circumstances haven't been on her side but it turns out that her predicted grade and what she got in her mocks was a 4 which is a C! Ellie just needs to revise and learn about the case studies and it will be a certain 4. This time last year she was predicted to get a 2 so she has really improved. 

20 odd days left at school does not seem like long but there are extra revision classes during the Easter holidays and after school which Ellie will be taking advantage of. Yesterday Ellie's prom dress was delivered and I can't wait to share photos of her in it but that will be after she's left school, finished her exams and it's prom day. All of those things seemed such a long time away just a few months ago, now they are a matter of weeks away! Eek! 

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

Word of the Week linky

Thursday 30 March 2023

The nation’s favourite family meals!

The nation’s favourite family meals have been revealed as the traditional roast dinner, fish and chips and pizza. I would say that is about right. If you look back on any of my meal plans roast dinner's and pizza's are something that we eat most weeks, whether it's home cooked, eating out or a takeaway.

Roast dinner

The top 20 favourite family meals are:

1. Roast dinner.
2. Fish and chips.
3. Pizza.
4. Spaghetti Bolognese.
5. Steak and chips.
6. Lasagne.
7. Chicken curry.
8. Sausage and mash.
9. Shepherd’s pie.
10. Chili con carne.
11. Cottage pie.
12. Fajitas.
13. Pasta bake.
14. Stir fry.
15. Burgers / veggie burgers.
16. Steak pie.
17. Stew.
18. Casserole.
19. Jacket potato.
20. Macaroni cheese.

Out of these meals we love all of them and they feature heavily on my meal plans apart from probably the steak and chips, steak is something we just don't eat. I don't think I have ever eaten proper steak, it's not something I have ever fancied. We tend to have cottage pie instead of shepherd's pie as my family seem to think they hate lamb. They have eaten lamb and have loved it in the past without them knowing they were eating lamb. We can take or leave Chili con carne and macaroni cheese, we like those meals but tend not to eat them often. Spaghetti Bolognese is probably my families favourite meals, we will have the Bolognese one with with spaghetti or pasta and then the next day we will have Bolognese in wraps.

To add to this list I think some of our other favourite meals are sausage casserole, sloppy joes, chicken pie and mash, hot dogs in buns but not the hot dogs out of tins, they have to be big sausages and fried chicken which is our version of a KFC.

There are certain meals that we will only eat on certain days. The fake KFC, pizza, burgers in bun and fajitas are weekend meals. I can't remember the last time we ate pizza midweek and fish and chips are always saved for a Friday. I think if I did give my family fish and chips during the week they would be so confused. lol

When I cook one of my families favourite meals they are always so happy. I feel good too because I love to make my family happy. The way to someone's heart really is through their stomach. hehehe

What are your favourite family meals?

Wednesday 29 March 2023

Easter with the National Trust - Lincolnshire!

Easter always seems to come around so quickly once January has ended and the Easter holidays start for us at the end of this week. Horoay! 

Bring the whole family together this Easter and treat your loved ones to a spring adventure with the National Trust. From getting active in the great outdoors, to spotting the signs of spring, and experiencing nature bursting into life at the places the National Trust cares for there are over 190 Easter trails to choose from across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Easter eggs in a basket

Every single National Trust Easter trail is different and celebrates nature, history and beauty. Follow winding garden paths, crash along muddy woodland trails or time travel with adventures to castles, towers, and mansions. And of course, each National Trust Easter trail ends with a chocolate egg.

To discover your nearest National Trust Easter trail you can visit their website.

Belton House - High Rd, Belton, Grantham NG32 2LW.
3rd - 16th April.

Spring into action this Easter at Belton and discover an energetic trail through the gardens. There are ten different activities to enjoy, including locating the animal footprints and working out who they belong to and taking on the rabbit racecourse. The trail is £3 per child, and there is a chocolate egg to collect at the end.

Explore an estate with endless playing opportunities. Burn off some energy in the National Trust’s largest outdoor adventure playground or put your feet up in the indoor play area, while the children discover a miniature version of Belton to climb.

Delight in the colours of spring, with a wander through the Pleasure Grounds at Belton. Discover the grounds transformed with blankets of daffodils and bluebells, providing a stunning springtime walk. Follow the path up to the lakes and take a moment to pause and listen to nature.

Visits to Belton should be prebooked in advance for the Easter holidays. This can be done through their website.

Woolsthorpe Manor - Woolsthorpe by Colsterworth, near Grantham, Lincolnshire.
3rd - 16th April
Science workshops: 3rd, 6th, 13th, and 14th April.

Enjoy some science fun at Woolsthorpe for the Easter holidays. As a child, Isaac Newton used to observe the world around him and question everything, follow in his footsteps at his childhood home. Take part in the free alchemy trail running throughout the Easter holidays or get hands on with science workshops where you can make playdoh, bouncy eggs or even try making butter! These should be pre booked in advance as there is limited capacity, and this can be done through the website

Step inside the Manor House and discover more about Newton and the place where he was born. Take a moment in nature in the orchard, and marvel at the iconic apple tree where he watched an apple fall. A photograph here is an essential part of visiting Woolsthorpe Manor, made even more special by the arrival of blossom.

There is no need to book your visit to Woolsthorpe Manor. The Manor House will be operating a timed entry system and you will be given an entry slot on your arrival.

Gunby Estate, Hall and Gardens - Gunby, Spilsby PE23 5SS.
1st - 17th April

Head over to Gunby Estate, Hall and Gardens from Saturday 1st to Monday 17th of April (10am – 4pm, last admission 3pm), where the Easter adventure will lead you through bountiful gardens bursting with life and special activities perfect for families on their Gunby explorations.  While you’re there, take advantage of the new 7 days a week opening of the house, meaning there’s even more opportunity to see inside this homely hall. The site and house are open 7 days a week. The trail costs £3. Check the website for opening times and more information.

Tattershall Castle - Sleaford Rd, Tattershall, Lincoln LN4 4LR.
3rd - 23rd April.

The Easter Trail at Tattershall Castle will be taking place from Monday 3rd to Sunday 23rd of April (10.30am - 4.30pm, last admission 3.30pm), which is the perfect time to take the family on explorations around the castle ruins where the grounds give wonderful views of the great tower. While on your adventure, make sure to climb the steps all the way to the top of the tower. There are medieval games to play as you go up all the way to the battlements. The site is open 7 days a week in April and the trail costs £3. Check the Tattershall Castle site for more information.

Are you planning any days out during the Easter holidays?

Tuesday 28 March 2023

A college interview!

It is a very exciting time of life for Ellie. She applied to college a few months ago and a few weeks ago we went along to college one evening for her interview. It turns out it wasn't an interview, more of an open evening but it was still very interesting and informative.

My daughter Ellie

When Becky went for her interview at college it was us talking to a tutor, getting shown around the college and filling out forms. Ellie has such a different experience. We are guessing it was because Becky went for her interview later in the year after we had moved house when all the local kids had already had their interview evening.

Ellie and I arrived at the college and were told to go and sit in one of the public learning areas, lots of teenagers were arriving with their parents and a teacher would come and take a small group away for different subjects. Finally the engineering tutor arrived and took us off to the engineering department along with about 8 other teenagers and their parents.

He took everyone's name and started telling us all about the courses. There was a few options for Ellie to choose from depending on what GCSE grades that she gets. She is still sticking with the level 2 electrical engineering course. There were a couple of higher level courses the tutors were trying to push but Ellie has the same plans as Becky. Do the level 2 and then 3 at college. 

When Ellie starts college she will do three days a week. One in the classroom, one in the workshop and one doing maths and English. She is so excited about being in the workshop as we were shown the type of things that she will be doing, a lot of wiring and testing but that is what she wants to do as a job. She wants to be an electrician, especially since she heard what the tutors said about it. As long as she passes the courses and does a year apprenticeship she will be qualified!

There was about 8 other teenagers along with Ellie and there was one other girl, the rest were boys. The tutor did say that girls on the engineering courses are rare things and if they end up being qualified electricians there will always be work for them. A former student is now qualified and pushes the fact that she is female as a selling point. I know I always hate having male workmen in the house if I am alone, even if they are the nicest people, I would prefer a woman but female electricians, plumbers, builders and things like that are pretty rare.

Over the time of the courses Ellie will be expected to do one day a week work experience. It can be anything as long as it is for a proper registered business but obviously they prefer it if it's something to do with engineering, plumbing, building or something in the industry. We have that sorted already as Ellie can go and work with my dad in his business. I know he won't be soft on her, he will make her work.

We learned that Ellie will be given boots, overalls, goggles and eye protection, we thought we were going to have to buy everything ourselves but the college supplies it. Phew! There will be a few trips which sound really interesting. They will get a tour around the Amazon warehouse, get the chance to go up in a glider plane after training, visit the wind turbine place and have the chance to climb up to the top of the one as long as they're not scared of heights and at the end of the 3 years a handful of the hardest working students get taken to America on an all expenses paid trip to see engineering things.

We did finally have a one on one chat with one of the tutors who officially offered Ellie a place on the course. Ellie really can't wait until September, she is so excited.

Monday 27 March 2023

Our weekly meal plan! 27th March - 2nd April. #MealPlanningMonday

Our weekly meal plan

Last weeks meal plan went well. We ate everything that I had planned and on Saturday we even made home made pizza. We were out again for lunch on Sunday, it's so nice not not to cook or think about doing the washing up, yes we spend a bit more than I would if I bought everything but it's worth it.

I have finally got into a good routine of cooking for my family. When Becky started working night shifts I would cook an evening meal for her but after sleeping all day she wouldn't fancy eating it so now she treats evening time as her breakfast time and only eats with us when she's not working. So I cook her choice of meals when she's not working and Ellie's choice when she is at work. The girls are past the stage of wanting chips with everything so meal times are a little more interesting. When it comes to Stu one week when he finishes at 5pm I will cook for us to eat together but when he's working until 6pm like this week I will cook food that reheats well because Ellie and I struggle to wait until 8pm to eat with him.

On the menu this week we have:

Monday - Stu is cooking. Chicken and pasta of some sort.
TuesdayBolognese stuffed peppers with cheese. We haven't had these in ages and we do love them, they're so easy to make.
WednesdayChicken and sweetcorn pie. There will be leftovers that either I will have for lunch the next day or Stu will take it to work.
Thursday - Quiche and salad. According to the weather forecast it's going to be 16c. I am imagining it feeling like summer but the chances are by the time Thursday comes the forecast will have changes.
Friday - Pizza, out of the freezer this time.
Saturday - Fake KFC. Chicken bits, fries, onion rings, coleslaw, garlic bread and salad.
Sunday - A roast dinner of some sort.

What are you eating this week?

Sunday 26 March 2023

A cactus with a hat on. #MySundaySnapshot

Ellie always mocks me for the amount of cacti that I have around the house so when we were out in town last week her saying she wanted to buy me the cactus with a hat on from a flower stall in the bus station really surprised me. It wasn't all as it seemed though, it's like the Hedwig cushion all over again! She bought it for me and then took it for herself. The cactus with a hat on is now in her bedroom. lol

A cactus with a hat on

My Sunday Snapshot linky

Saturday 25 March 2023

A photo every day for a year! 18th - 24th March. Week 12 of #Project365

This week seems to have flown over and I've just remembered that the clocks go back tonight. Hmmf. That's no fun, losing an hour of our weekend but at least the nights will be lighter. I have noticed the mornings are lighter, I say every year we need new curtains and then get used to the sunshine and forget about it until this time of year. lol

It has become so clear that Ellie is so close to the end of secondary school. There is more revision being done, the last parents evening is happening next week and we're booked in to see Ellie's teachers and I ordered the dress that Ellie is planning to wear for prom. It cost a lot less than what I was expecting to pay for a prom dress. The countdown is well and truly on to her GCSE's. Eek.

Now for a photo every day!

McDonalds and a Mother's Day card
Nets holding teddy bears
Crisp sandwiches and savoury food at the butchers
Rain on the window and Baileys truffles

77/365 - 18th March
Ellie and I went for a mooch around Hull and we of course had to get McDonalds for lunch.

78/365 - 19th March
Mother's Day and I was indeed treated like a Queen for the day. We had lunch out and an Indian takeaway for tea. What a treat.

79/365 - 20th March
I bought these nets off Amazon for Ellie's room to store her teddy's which she refuses to part with, I thought they were too big but it turns out they were the perfect size. There were more teddies than I thought, I am sure she kept some of the one's she was supposed to throw out.

80/365 - 21st March
Crisp and ham sandwiches for lunch. I used to use just one packet of crisps but now the kids have taught me that if you have prawn cocktail flavoured and a meaty one they taste amazing.

81/365 - 22nd March
I love our little butchers, not so much for the meat but for the sandwiches, savoury snacks and the cakes. They're all made in the shop and it is so hard not to buy one of everything.

82/365 - 23rd March
It seems that the April showers have arrived early. It was sunny and blue skies one minute and chucking it down with black clouds the next.

83/365 - 24th March
These Baileys strawberries and cream chocolates are amazing!! Becky got me them for Mother's Day.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Friday 24 March 2023

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

This week my Word of the Week is:


Following on from last weeks Word of the Week we had an appointment booked on Monday for an engineer to come and sort out our gas meter as it wasn't working, it wasn't switching on to show any numbers. The man came on Monday but he wasn't an engineer, he was just a guy reading meters! Grr! He said when someone says their meter isn't working they now send someone to check as a lot of people were saying the same thing to get out of paying their bills, especially during the lockdowns when no one could check. I understand why they have to check but our bill was paid and we were still in credit, why would I lie? The guy said to phone up to speak to someone and I tried. British Gas were only accepting calls from vulnerable people and emergencies on Monday so I had to get back onto the online chat. Grr! Anyway the battery has gone in the meter and needs replacing so we're booked in to get that done in the first week in April. 

Ellie was booked in for a check up at the dentist on Tuesday, she usually has her appointments on a Monday and Stu takes her because I don't get on with the people in our dentist surgery after the hoo ha we had this time last year with booking appointments and the girls having to share appointments even though Becky was paying for hers. The appointment went well, there was the usual reminder about brushing at the back and Ellie was given a prescription for some super strength toothpaste which I went and picked up on Wednesday. While I was at the pharmacy I got some of Ellie's hearing aid batteries too.

Next week is Ellie's last ever parents evening at school. Eek! I got us all booked in. The teachers we're seeing are in the perfect order, all the fun good one's at the end and Ellie's head of year is the last one so if we have any issues to talk thorough we can. Stu usually comes with Ellie and I but he can't get the time off work so Becky has decided to come along just for a nosy. She really wants to see Ellie's maths teacher who's only 2 years older than her and the English teacher who Ellie never stops talking about. I predict tears when we see Ellie's English teacher either from her, me or us both. She has done so much for Ellie, we couldn't have asked for a better teacher in the last couple of years of school.

We have a little holiday booked for later in the year and when I booked it I was stupidly looking at the school term dates and not the college term dates. We can amend the holiday dates until just before we go so we can always go a day earlier and just come back a day earlier so Ellie won't miss any college. I am hoping that we get some more info over the next couple of months about what days Ellie is in college, before I have to book the train tickets as they need to be booked 12 weeks in advance to get the best prices. Eek! I really don't fancy paying an extra £100 for an open return.

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

Word of the Week linky

Thursday 23 March 2023

A little Spring tag.

 Spring is here, it officially started on Monday and last week it felt like spring had sprung. It felt so warm on Friday, Becky even went out without a coat which is very rare at this time of year. She always feels the cold.

Anyway, I thought I would do a little tag which I have never seen before, all about Spring! Believe it or not I have never done a tag about Spring! I could have sworn that I had.


What is your favourite Spring month and least favourite (March,April,May or June?)
I really like April as it has Easter in it and we get 2 weeks break from school and there is of course the chocolate too. hehehe. I am not a fan of March as nothing really happens and there is the hope of warmer weather but it's not quite here yet!

What is your favourite spring piece of clothing?
I don't really change what I wear from winter to spring, I just seem to wear less layers. I think my favourite piece of spring clothing is my zip up hoodie, it means the weather is getting warmer and I don't have to wear my winter coat.

What is your favourite thing about spring?
The weather getting warmer, getting out in the garden and the lighter nights when the clocks go back.

Do you suffer from allergies in the spring?
Yes! Hayfever, it starts in the spring and runs all the way through until Autumn. I never used to really suffer when we lived in Northumberland as we lived in a built up area with hardly any grass or flowers but since moving to North Lincolnshire I have suffered, our house backs on to fields, there's grass and flowers everywhere.

What is your favourite spring flower? 
Daffodils! They are such a cheery flower.

Do you plant things in the spring?
Yes!! I am planning on getting started in the garden over the weekend. I have a big list of things that I want to plant. The usual strawberries, tomatoes and flowers as well as some new things to me like sweetcorn, Brussels sprouts and Cucumelons.

Do you celebrate Easter?
Yes, not the religious part but we of course have chocolate eggs and a nice roast dinner. Now the kids are older they are not into Easter egg hunts and things like that. I miss those days.

Favourite spring candle?
I like the fresh, fruity one's. I have been enjoying a grapefruit one recently. 

Do you do spring cleaning?
I wouldn't say I do spring cleaning but I do spring decluttering although we've had a lot of work done on the house over the last couple of months so I feel like I am constantly cleaning!

Do you have any plans for spring?
Nope, none at all apart from getting out in the garden and planting some things.

What are your favourite things about spring?

Post Comment Love

Wednesday 22 March 2023

Gear up for an adventure with these handy gadgets!

It's officially Spring! Hooray! The weather should be improving soon, the clocks go back on Sunday which means lighter nights so there will be more chance to get outside. I thought I would share with you some fantastic gadgets specifically designed for outdoor use, perfect for when you want to explore the great outdoors.

Outdoor adventure

For all the adventurers out there, your outdoor escapades will now be more enjoyable and convenient with the RUGD Power Brick. An all in one Power Bank, Camping Light, and SOS light. This revolutionary device is here to make your outdoor trips hassle free as it packs in a lot of features that will allow you to be well prepared for any adventure. With its compact size, lightweight and powerful battery, it is the perfect companion for any intrepid explorer.

RUGD Power Brick

With the powerful 2 port fast charger you can charge up to 50% in just 30 minutes. Featuring 1 x USB-C 18W Input and Output port this fast charger is designed to make your life easier and more convenient. With its sleek design it's perfect for taking on the go with you wherever you go. Whether it's in your home or office, this fast charger will help keep your device running at optimal performance all day long. The RUGD Powerbrick is £41.99 from Rugdlife.

The Survival Kit from Kikkerland

Be prepared for any adventure! The Survival Kit from Kikkerland. It contains 10 items with 30 functions including: an emergency blanket, a wire hand saw, a 5 in 1 whistle, earplugs, a pencil, candle, flint & striker, a razor blade, a multi function knife, fish hook, line & bait. It costs £35 from Kikkerland. 

waterproof dry bag from Kikkerland

Keep your essentials dry with this waterproof bag from Kikkerland which is perfect for outdoor gear and tech. The Roll top closure provides reliable waterproof performance. Bring it along with you to the beach, picnic and all your outdoor adventures. It costs £10 from from Kikkerland.

White Marble Travel Cutlery & Straw Set

The White Marble Travel Cutlery & Straw Set which includes a fork, knife, spoon and collapsible straw comes in a stylish box, clipping all items in place, eliminating any rattles and keeping everything clean and hygienic, right in your bag. Designed to be stylish and playful while giving you the convenience of having cutlery and a straw wherever you go and stopping single use forever. The full Sized Travel Cutlery Set is £27 from Mnched

What gadgets would you recommend for outdoor adventures?

Tuesday 21 March 2023

A little date night.

I said at the start of the year that I wanted to spend more time with Stu on his days off work as we always seem to fill our time with doing jobs around the house and getting things that need doing done and not spending time really together so when we see the chance to have some quality time together we take it, it doesn't happen often so we make the most of it.

a pink heart

At the end of February we had a busy week. Stu had taken a week off work while we had some builders putting insulated boards up in the living room and he was decorating Ellie's bedroom. Everything took a little longer than it should so by the time Friday came around we were just about over of all the work that still needed doing so we decided to take a break and have a meal out. It was just to the local pub and we'd planned on having a main course a couple of drinks and then coming home at about 8pm.

We had the table booked for 6pm and just as we sat down we saw someone being served their starters so we decided to have a starter too. We just went for chicken strips with BBQ sauce and they were so good. For our main course Stu had the burger, fries and onion rings and I of course had Scampi, chips and pea puree. It was delicious!

Burger and scampi and chips

We had no intention of ordering a dessert but then the waitress asked if we wanted a menu, having a look wouldn't hurt. Stu ended up getting the Sticky toffee pudding with a brandy snap and vanilla ice cream and I had the apple crumble and custard. It said seasonal crumble on the menu but I like any crumble, Stu thought it was funny that I was taking a risk but I had a feeling it would either be apple, rhubarb or pear. It was home made crumble, I could just tell and it was amazing!


Just as we were finishing our food the karaoke in the pub started and we had all intentions of leaving but we got so into listening to the people sing. There were some real characters and we were having a real giggle. Before we knew it last orders were being called at 11pm. We decided to treat ourselves to a couple of the Martini cocktail drinks. I now understand why I saw plenty of people with the passion fruit one and not the espresso one, it was vile! I know it was meant to taste like coffee but it was just too strong in the coffee taste, the passionfruit one was OK but it was a little too sweet for my liking. Oh well, at least we know for next time.

Martini cocktails

We got home just before midnight which was a little later than we had planned but we had a lovely evening and it was something different than what we usually do on a Friday night.

I said it would probably be another couple of years until we spend more time at the pub together but we ended up going on the Sunday for lunch and to watch Newcastle in their cup final. lol

Do you get to go out for date often with your significant other?

Monday 20 March 2023

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

Our weekly meal plan

Last weeks meal plan went pretty well. I was so glad that I filled the slow cooker on Tuesday as when it got to tea time after a day of painting I did not feel like cooking. It would have been a takeaway if I hadn't have filled the slow cooker. I felt so proud of myself, getting the living room finished and saving some money. The highlight of the week were the black pudding scotch eggs. I made them from scratch and they turned out really well, it's something I will be making again. We did end up having a takeaway on Friday night, fish and chips. The kids got into my head saying how much they fancied a chippy tea. 

I would like to say we have no workmen coming this week but we have an engineer coming to sort out the problem with our gas meter, it's not showing any numbers or even switching on and we have a plumber coming to look at our low water pressure. It should all be hassle free and thankfully dust free! I have been dusting way more than usual since the window was boxed in last week and then I finished off the sanding and there was more dust. I think I have got it all now but my nose really has suffered, I was sneezing and had a runny nose. I thought I was coming down with a cold, I even did a Covid test but it seems as soon as I got rid of all the dust my nose cleared it's self. Phew!

On the menu this week we have:

Monday - Tomato & meatball pasta bake. Monday's always seem to be busy so we're having one of Asda's big family ready meals with garlic bread.
Tuesday - Pork and apple sausages with potato wedges and mushrooms and peas.
Wednesday - Pea and ham soup with crusty bread. My family loved it last time that I made it and have asked for it again.
Thursday - Tuna fritters with some sort of rice.
Friday - Scampi, chips and peas.
Saturday - Pizza.
Sunday - A roast dinner of some sort.

What are you eating this week?

Sunday 19 March 2023

Sanding and dust. #MySundaySnapshot

The builders came on Monday to finish off the wall in the living room, all they couldn't finish was sanding around the window as there were poles holding up the plasterboard when they boxed it all in. I said I would do it and got to work on Tuesday with my sander. As I am writing this on Friday afternoon there is still dust in here and I have dusted everyday. lol I am so glad I bought Stu the sander for his birthday last year, hehehe. I think I have used it more than him.

A Sander

My Sunday Snapshot

Saturday 18 March 2023

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

I have had quite a busy week with more work being done around the house. The living room is finished, hooray! We've got a shower put in but it's not working properly, ugh! It's a work in progress as the workman is coming when he has free time around other jobs. It's no hardship to us really, we've lived almost 4 years without a shower so we're not missing something we've not had in years. I discovered the gas meter isn't working after the energy company estimated our gas bill. There's an engineer coming on Monday! I am so over people coming into my house. I want everything back in it's place.

I am looking forward to a nice relaxed weekend, it being Mother's Day is a bonus, I will get the day off from doing jobs around the house and I will have the kids running around after me. hehehe We are planning to go out for lunch and I am getting a Indian takeaway for my teach which is my favourite.

Now for a photo every day!

Eldest on her laptop and flowers
A bag of tools
Newly painted walls and a scotch egg
Bottle of Prime and the shower

70/365 - 11th March
It was nice to spend some time with Becky on her weekend off. 

71/365 - 12th March
The kids bought me flowers, an early Mother's Day present. They had the sense to get them before everywhere puts their prices up.

72/365 - 13th March
The workmen were back to box in around the window and put the skirting board on. They did a great job, apart from all of the dust.

73/365 - 14th March
I painted the wall that had insulated plasterboards put on. It only took 2 coats. The first coat with watered down emulsion paint to soak into the plasterboard and the 2nd coat went on perfectly.

74/365 - 15th March
I had a go at making black pudding scotch eggs. They turned out really well. I just mixed sausage meat and black pudding and wrapped the boiled egg in the mix and then covered them in breadcrumbs. My family loved them!

75/365 - 16th March
Becky finally found some of that Prime drink at a half decent price. She's only seen it on sale for at least £10 and managed to get a bottle for £5 which I think is still a rip off. It tasted awful by the way. lol

76/365 - 17th March
The shower is in but it's not working like it should. There isn't enough water pressure, the water just trickles out which the guy is trying to sort between other jobs. The upside is that at least there aren't any leaks.

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Friday 17 March 2023

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

This week my Word of the Week is:


We have had a couple of the big bills this week and they actually weren't that bad. With all the talk on the news of all the bills going up I was slightly worried but it turns out I needn't have been and I am so grateful.

First came the council tax on Monday. I have been waiting for it as I am planning to do the same as I did last year, pay the first month now and the 2nd payment in April when the first one is due so we'll always be a month ahead. I just need the council to update their website with the new bills added. It turns out we're only paying an extra £3 a month for the next year, I expected it to be at least 10 or 15 pounds more.

Then on Tuesday our energy bill came through. Finally, I have been waiting a month for it as I was sure it was due in February. It wasn't as high as I expected, in fact it was only £40 more than this time last year which was a surprise with all the talk of bills going up and us using the oil heater. I guess all the nagging about turning things off has done a little good. I did notice they had estimated my gas part of the bill which seemed odd as that has always been accurate.

Just before the first lockdown, 3 years ago our Smart Meter stopped working. They obviously couldn't do anything and for a long while we were paying estimated bills for the electric because the website and the people on the phone could see we had a smart meter so the computers wouldn't accept us reading the meter ourselves. They changed something last year and I could do meter readings so we got accurate bills. The gas meter was still sending readings so thankfully that was always accurate. When everything started opening back up I rang them and they said they know there's a problem with the smart meter and will get back to us, I've rang every 6 months since and they said they will get back to us.

Anyway, back to the estimated gas bill. I went to check the gas meter and it wouldn't come on. I usually press the "A" button and numbers come up, there was nothing. Eek! I looked online and the last reading was took in December. I just assumed it was the energy company not taking the readings, they have been very sporadic when they take the readings in the past. I had a quick look on Google and it turns out gas meters run on batteries not mains power, you learn something new every day so I am assuming the battery has ran out as it only lasts about 10/15 years. I got onto the online chat with my energy company and they cancelled the bill until the issue is resolved and an engineer is coming out on Monday.

On Wednesday morning I woke up to a new bill being issued and still no confirmation of the engineer coming. The new bill was the same as the old one but I went back on the online chat to see what was going on and just for a bit of reassurance. Apparently the bill shouldn't have been cancelled because it is accurate, well it isn't as it's estimated but I am letting them get on with it. Apparently that bill stands and that is all we will be charged which is fine with me as it is a lot less than I expected.

Oh and according to the person on the online chat we're still not getting our old smart meter replaced. lol I will ask the engineer about getting a new one when he arrives on Monday. The energy companies make such a big deal about everyone having a smart meter and when we are begging for one they won't give us one. Madness!

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

Word of the Week linky

Thursday 16 March 2023

Coffee, Caramel & Pecan Layer Cake - Recipe!

Mother's day is coming up and I always think cake is a fantastic way to treat that special lady in your life. This Coffee, Caramel & Pecan layer cake is made using only 10 ingredients and 5 pieces of equipment. You'll whip up this incredible coffee layer cake, sandwiched with creamy smooth coffee buttercream and caramel, all topped with crunchy pecans in no time!

Coffee, Caramel & Pecan Layer Cake

This recipe makes one 3 layer 6” cake or one 2 layer 8” cake.


370g of unsalted butter, softened, split into 250g and 120g.
400g of caster sugar split into 250g and 150g.
4 eggs.
250g of self raising flour.
1 teaspoon of baking powder
fresh espressos (120ml) or 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon of instant coffee dissolved in tbsp of boiling water.
150g of pecans, roughly chopped and extra for decorating.
150ml double cream.
1 teaspoon of salt.
500g icing sugar.

3 x 6” cake tins or 2 x 8” cake tins, lined.
A mixing bowl.
A wooden spoon.
A knife.
A saucepan.


Preheat your oven to 160°C (fan) and line your cake tins with baking parchment.

To make the sponge, cream together 250g of the butter and 250g of the caster sugar then add the eggs and mix until combined.

Add in the flour and baking powder, followed by two of the espressos, and mix until no lumps remain.

Gently stir in the roughly chopped pecans and divide the batter evenly between the two or three cake tins, depending on how many you’re using. Use the back of the wooden spoon to level.

Bake the sponges for 20-25 minutes until golden and springy to touch and allow to cool completely. If they aren’t springy, put back into the oven and check again after 5 minutes.

Whilst the sponges are cooling, make your caramel by heating the remaining 150g of caster sugar and water together in a saucepan over a medium-high heat until boiling, without stirring – the sugar will naturally dissolve. Try not to agitate the caramel as it cooks and only swirl if necessary, do not stir with a spoon.

Once the caramel has become amber in colour (around 5 minutes) and the bubbles are small, pour in the double cream, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon as you do so. It will bubble up and create a lot of steam, so be cautious. Once combined, stir in the salt and transfer the caramel to a bowl to cool.

Once the caramel is cool rinse the mixing bowl and spoon to make your buttercream. Combine the remaining 120g butter, icing sugar, final espresso in the bowl and cream together until smooth.

Save 60g caramel for the drip, then assemble your cake by sandwiching each layer with the buttercream and a spoonful of caramel spread on top before lightly coating the top and sides with the remaining buttercream to achieve a naked cake effect, scraping off any excess with the knife. If your remaining caramel has thickened up, pop it in the microwave for 30 seconds before pouring on top of the cake and teasing down the sides to create drips using the tip of your knife.

Sprinkle some roughly chopped and whole pecans around the top edge and serve. 

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