Tuesday 5 March 2024

365 Days Of Gratitude. In February I was grateful for..

February wasn't the easiest month for me, we had some things going on in real life but I am glad to say everything is resolved now, I am not constantly on edge and life feels back to normal. Some days it was hard to be grateful and I had to dig deep then other days were easy. I am sure March will be better for me.

I have seen many people on social media list something every day that they are grateful for and thought I would join in and have on my private Facebook account every day and I thought I would share here too. I did this for the whole of last year couple of years and it has really made me realise that even on the bad day's I have something to be grateful for. 

Grateful

Day 32 of #365DaysOfGratitude 
Today I am grateful that I stopped the smoke alarm from beeping, it needed a new battery! I did fear for my life climbing up the step ladder. lol

Day 33 of #365DaysOfGratitude 
Today I am grateful for good soup for tea and plenty to go in the freezer. It was curried winter veg soup. Full of potatoes, onions, parsnips, sweet potato, carrots and butternut squash.

Day 34 of #365DaysOfGratitude 
Today I am grateful for a lovely catch up with my nephews mum. 

Day 35 of #365DaysOfGratitude 
Today I am grateful for the Iceland chicken and bacon pies. We had them for tea and they're so tasty considering they're only £1 for 2.

Day 36 of #365DaysOfGratitude 
Today I am grateful that the nights are a little lighter so I worry a little less when Ellie misses her usual bus home from college. 

Day 37 of #365DaysOfGratitude
Today I am grateful for lip balm.


Day 38 of #365DaysOfGratitude
Today I am grateful that we have made some great plans for half term, most of it involves food but that's something which makes us all happy.

Day 39 of #365DaysOfGratitude
Today I am grateful that I didn't have to go out today! The weather has been rotten. Snow earlier but it didn't settle.

Day 40 of #366DaysOfGratitude
Today I am grateful that I've just noticed that it's not 365 days of gratitude it's 366 as it's a leap year. 

Day 41 of #365DaysOfGratitude
Today I am grateful for a few glasses of wine.

Day 42 of #365DaysOfGratitude
Today I am grateful that the cafe is back open on a Sunday so I could get my Sunday dinner.

Sunday dinner

Day 43 of #365DaysOfGratitude
Today I am grateful for a Monday which has felt like an extra Sunday with us all being home.

Day 44 of #365DaysOfGratitude
Today I am grateful for pancakes!!

Day 45 of #365DaysOfGratitude
Today I am grateful for a good fella! Stu spoilt me rotten today even though he was at work. Ordered flowers and left me a hamper of my favourite things. Bath bombs, pj's and lots of chocolate. I treated him to an afternoon tea for tea.

Day 46 of #365DaysOfGratitude
Today I am grateful that Ellie's good ear is still good, she's still deaf in her bad ear but that will never change. She's been discharged from the children's department and is back in 2 years as an adult for her next check up.

Day 47 of #365DaysOfGratitude
Today I am grateful that Ellie had a good day working with my dad.

Day 48 of #365DaysOfGratitude
Today I am grateful for a fun day out at Hull shopping and going to the all you can eat place!

Dessert

Day 49 of #365DaysOfGratitude
Today I am grateful for a quiet day at home, it was needed!

Day 50 of #365DaysOfGratitude
Today I am grateful for home made pizza.

Day 51 of #365DaysOfGratitude
Today I am grateful that Ellie's boots didn't completely fall apart today! I told her not to wear them as the sole was coming off, of course she didn't listen. A new pair has been ordered!

Day 52 of #365DaysOfGratitude
Today I am grateful that the new Sky Router has arrived ready for it to be upgraded on Monday!

Day 53 of #365DaysOfGratitude
Today I am grateful that there's leftover Bolognese for tomorrow so I don't have to do any cooking!

Day 54 of #365DaysOfGratitude
Today I am grateful for a nice afternoon with my dad, he even made us lunch! 

Day 55 of #365DaysOfGratitude
Today I am grateful that the kids cleared all their stuff out of the living room while I was decluttering and cleaning. I may have said anything left in here which shouldn't be would go in the bin.

Day 56 of #365DaysOfGratitude
Today I am grateful for a day in my pj's

Day 57 of #365DaysOfGratitude 
Today I am grateful that today went smoothly. The new superfast broadband was installed before Stu had to take an important phone call. I hate having to deal with people in the house.

Day 58 of #365DaysOfGratitude 
Today I am grateful that Newcastle United won! Watching them play was stressful with it going to penalties.

Day 59 of #365DaysOfGratitude 
Today I am grateful for a day with Becky. She's so busy so it's nice to spend some time with her.

Day 60 of #365DaysOfGratitude 
Today I am grateful that February seemed like such a quick month, it flew over!

What were you grateful for in February?

Monday 4 March 2024

Our weekly meal plan! 4th - 10th March. #MealPlanningMonday

Our weekly meal plan

Last weeks meal plan went well. We did swap a couple of days around but ate almost everything. On Friday we really fancied treating ourselves to a takeaway. Stu and I got an Indian takeaway and the girls got food from the chip shop as they didn't fancy a curry. It worked out well as I wasn't complaining that the kids were wasting food that we paid for, everyone was happy especially Stu and I, it seems ages since we had a good curry!

We don't have much on this week and I am really looking forward to it. I have a really long to-do list of fun things on it like dying my hair, Lego set, crafts, jigsaws, some baking and things like that I haven't got around to or had the motivation to do so far this year which I am going to make a start on. I also do need to get out into the garden to give it a tidy but the weather hasn't been great lately but according to the weather forecast today is looking good and Stu has his day off work to help so we might get some of it done.

On the menu this week we have:

Monday - Red onion and bacon tart with new potatoes and salad.
Tuesday - Sausage casserole, mash and veg.
WednesdaySesame pork & egg fried rice. It's a Gousto recipe that we have had in the past. It's quick and simple to make.
ThursdayThai style pork patties with sweet potato wedges and salad. This is in our top 5 meals that we've had in the past from Gousto.
Friday - Pizza.
Saturday - Hot dogs in buns with fries and onion rings. 
Sunday - It's Mother's Day so I won't be cooking. Hopefully I will be dragging the girls out with Stu and I for lunch out.

What are you eating this week?

Sunday 3 March 2024

Week 9 of #Project365 25th Feb - 2nd March. A photo every day for a year!

Hello there and happy Sunday! We have had a good week, a really good one. Getting lots of things sorted and improved which has made me happy. As I am writing this I am sat here watching The Matrix and for the rest of the day I am catching up with some blogging and watching the next two Matrix films. I do love them but don't fully understand them. lol I also have some housework to fit in. I really shouldn't have had a lazy morning scrolling through TikTok with Ellie. lol

I don't know what we are doing today. We had planned to go out for lunch but I think that will be up to the weather. I am sick of this rain. If it's not absolutely chucking it down it's that fine rain which seems to get you even more soaked that the heavy downpours.

Now for a photo every day!

Cooking Fever gem win
Sky router and living room
Phone book and Nutella dip
Pink nails and daffodils

56/365 - 25th February
I always think to myself that I have had enough of playing Cooking Fever and then I go and win gems and they keep me hooked for a little while longer. Gems are what you use to upgrade things and are hard to come by.

57/365 - 26th February
We got the new and improved superfast broadband installed. We weren't happy that we couldn't have the router where we wanted (in the dining room) and Stu had to run a cable all the way from his computer in there to the router but we can't complain, the speed is twice as fast and we have 2 months of Sky movies.

58/365 - 27th February
Since I moved the furniture in the living room around on Saturday I have been annoying myself. I can the reflection of myself in the mirror on the fire. That fire is only there for decoration, it does work but it's too expensive to run. The central heating works out cheaper and stays warmer for longer.

59/365 - 28th February
How tiny is the phone book now?! I did the whole speech to my girls about how big it used to be. I said it used to be the size of the xBox and they didn't believe me so I had to find photos to show them. They can't get their heads around the fact that most people used to have their names and addresses in it. Ours is just over 100 pages now.

60/365 - 29th February
These Nutella things were such a let down. The sticks were too thin to scoop the chocolate out and they weren't that nice. I won't be buying them again. I remember the KP Chocolate Dip things which were similar, they were the best!

61/365 - 1st March
New nails, this time a pale pink. They look a little more brighter in real life. I reckon a couple more washes of my hair, washing the bright pink out and my nails and hair will match. hehehe

62/365 - 2nd March
I was going to order some more daffodils to come with the food shop on Thursday but last weeks one's are still going strong! They are such a cheap flower and last so long.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

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Saturday 2 March 2024

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

This week my Word of the Week is:

Happy

I have a nice and simple word to describe my week this week as it has been just a happy week and I have found my happy again!

I have had a stressful start to the year, one thing after another seemed to be happening and it left me feeling pretty anxious. We have had a big thing going on since the start of February which took time to resolve but on Monday everything was sorted and my worrying could stop and it has been such a relief! (It wasn't anything health related or like that, it was to do with money.) In hindsight I needn't have worried as much as I did but it's over now. Phew! 

Since Monday I have felt happy, I have been sleeping better, eating better and enjoying normal things like playing online games, doing my nails and soaking in the bath instead of doing them just to pass the time. 

I have been happy to have lots of movies to watch as Sky gave us the movie channels free for a couple of months when we upgraded our broadband. I have watched so many films which I wouldn't normally choose to watch, the latest being the new Top Gun movie and Elvis which I really enjoyed. 

I am happy that Stu is finishing work earlier, he's still working the same hours but only having a half hour lunch instead of an hour and he is happy he's getting home almost about an hour and a half earlier! It means he can actually have some time for himself instead of getting home, having a bath or shower and then thinking about going to bed. 

A few weeks ago there were some issues at the place where Becky works but she grinned and beared it and everything is good again. The issues weren't resolved but they have gone away and her work place is a nicer place to work which makes her happy and therefore makes me happy. I knew things would come right again, it was just a matter of hanging on in there. 

I was happy on Tuesday to see Newcastle United go through to the next round of the FA Cup after beating Blackburn Rovers. I was so tense watching the match though and that was just on the TV, I couldn't imagine going and watching football matches at the football ground every week, I would be a nervous wreck! They play Man City in the next round so I am not holding out much hope of Newcastle getting much further in the competition. 

Yesterday I was happy to get in put my pj's on and the heating after being out in the rain. I had to go to my dad's to help him out with some paperwork but he did give me a lift back home but by then I was already soaked. I was very happy to be sat back in my armchair. I even decided that we were going to have a treat and get a takeaway for tea which my family were very happy about. I didn't have to cook and there were less dishes for the kids to wash. hehehe

I have decided to start my year from yesterday, the first two months of this year are one's I want to forget. I had a big list of things that I wanted to do starting at the beginning of the year but up until now didn't have the motivation to do them. Now I am feeling happier I feel like making a start and already have some plans for the next week!

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

Word of the Week linky

Friday 1 March 2024

What I have loved this week! Week 9. #FridayFavourites

Hello and happy Friday! I have had a really good week! Probably the best one of the year so far. I have had something going on in my offline life which has been stressing me out but after all that worry it was nothing to worry about.

I am linking up with Erika and Andrea and sharing some of my favourites from the past week.

What I have loved this week!

Faster broadband.
We got a new contract with our broadband provider and they gave us a good deal where we could have double the speed for just an extra pound which isn't bad considering we have Netflix included in the price and I am sure that has gone up in price. We were getting about 70Mbs and now we're getting 150. It doesn't really make much difference to me but to my family who play online games means there's no lagging.

Movies.
Along with the upgraded broadband the guy installing it said he would look if we could have any freebies and said we could have the movie channels on the TV part of our account free for 2 months. I have been making the most of the new channels and have watched so many movies, lots of old one's like LOTR, Happy Feet and Nanny McPhee and some new one's. Harry Styles in Don't Worry Darling, Where the Crawdads Sing and Bullit Train.

Changing the living room around.
I changed the furniture around in the living room and it gave me a great chance to have a declutter. At one point I have 2 piles of stuff that didn't belong in here, it all belonged to my girls. It has all been moved and dumped in their bedroom which is out of sight, out of mind for me. I am back in my armchair in the middle of the room and now I can have a good nosy out of the window.

My fella getting home early.
My fella's work is trying out a new thing, only having half an hour for lunch instead of an hour and then finishing half an hour earlier at half past 4 instead of 5pm. It has made such a difference. He is now getting home just after half past 5 instead of about 7pm or even later if the buses are busy. He said it feels like he is finally having some time to himself on work days.

Eating properly.
I didn't realise how little I eat when I am worrying about things until Monday when I wasn't worrying about things. It's not good but for the last month I have not been eating a proper breakfast or lunch most days but this week I seem to have eaten so much and I've enjoyed eating. I've had pasta, soft boiled eggs, baked beans on toast and yesterday corned beef and onion toasties. 

My eldest staying home.
My eldest was supposed to be going to her friends house on Wednesday evening but decided to stay home and have some family time. She has such a busy social life, sometimes it feels like I hardly see her but it is nice when she makes an effort to spend some time with me. Why do our children have to grow up so fast!!

Hearthstone!
I used to love playing the online card game, Hearthstone based on the online game World of Warcraft but since I got my new laptop a couple of years ago I never bothered downloading it as it was such a big thing. I did this week with the faster broadband and I have enjoyed playing it. I did make a new account as I know playing on my old one would mean a lot of catching up to do since it's been a few years since I last played. I am totally hooked on it again, I imagine it's going to be a while until I play The Sims again.

What have you loved this week?

Friday Favorites linky

Thursday 29 February 2024

Apple & Blackberry Crumble Bars - Recipe!

In the quest for better health one key ingredient often gets overlooked: fibre. Despite its humble reputation fibre holds tremendous power when it comes to nourishing our bodies and supporting overall well being. With each wholesome bite of these fibre packed bars, you're not just tantalizing your taste buds you're also nourishing your body from the inside out.

Apple & Blackberry Crumble Bars

This recipe makes 8 bars containing 48.5g of fibre in the entire batch.

Prep time: 15 mins.
Cook time: 35 to 40 minutes.

This can also be made with frozen raspberries or other fruit of your choice! 

Ingredients:

1 Bramley cooking apple, peeled, cored and cut into small cubes (approx. 100g).
150g of frozen blackberries.
100g of oats.
200g of light brown sugar + 1 tablespoon for filling.
250g of wholemeal flour + 1 tablespoon for filling.
1 egg.
125g of unsalted butter, melted.
½ tsp mixed spice (optional).

Equipment:

20cm square tin, lined with parchment paper
Large mixing bowl
Small mixing bowl
Spoon
 
Method:

Preheat the oven to 180°C (fan).

In the small mixing bowl, combine the cubed apple and frozen blackberries with 1 tablespoon of light brown sugar and 1 tablespoon of flour. Set to one side.

In the large mixing bowl, combine the oats, light brown sugar, flour and mixed spice (if using) with a spoon. Mix in the egg and melted butter with the spoon, then get your hands in the bowl and bring the mixture together until it forms clusters.

Pour two thirds of the crumbly mixture into the prepared square tin and lightly press down with your fingers to create an even layer. Spread the apple and blackberry mixture on top, then sprinkle the remaining third of the crumble mix over the top, don’t worry if there are gaps, you want to see the fruit coming through.

Place in the oven and bake for 35 to 40 minutes until golden on top and the apple is cooked through. Leave to cool before portioning into 8 bars and serving.

This recipe was created for the #FibreFebruary initiative, launched by UK Flour Millers, to help consumers eat the recommended amount of daily fibre while highlighting flour’s connection to fibre. You can find more information about Fibre February over on the FAB Flour website.

Wednesday 28 February 2024

My top 5 favourite School movies!

I wouldn't say I am a big movie buff but I do have a lot of favourite films and I have been listing them for a few months. You can read about my favourite action movies, Sci-Fi movies, my favourite Animated movies and my favourite musical movies and my favourite disaster movies. In the run up to Halloween I shared my favourite scary movies and the week after I shared my not so scary movies which were more up my street for the spooky season, in the run up to Christmas I shared my favourite Christmas movies and most recently my favourite sport movies!

Popcorn

This time my top 5 is all about School movies! As a child and teenager I always wanted to go to school in America, they looked so relaxed compared to the strict uniform over here and I am sure the American schools never got as much homework as I did. lol

The Breakfast Club!
Five high school students from different walks of life endure a Saturday detention under a power hungry principal. The disparate group includes rebel John, princess Claire, outcast Allison, brainy Brian and Andrew, the jock. Each has a chance to tell his or her story, making the others see them a little differently and when the day ends, they question whether school will ever be the same.

On the rare time that I had a detention at school they were never like this but I really wanted them to be. Imagine having a detention on a Saturday morning, that is not a thing here. I think this is one of the best 80's movies out there, there is someone that we can relate to. I wanted to be the princess but was more of the outcast. 

Clueless!
Cher is a rich high-school student who is learning to cope with adolescence and its problems. She also helps a new student gain popularity and in the process discovers her own feelings for someone.

Alicia Silverstone was perfect for this movie. You cannot cast anyone better for the part. She was likable and so pretty. Everyone wanted to be like her. It's a fun movie which is easy to watch and like!

Mean Girls!
Teenage Cady Heron was educated in Africa by her scientist parents. When her family moves to the suburbs of Illinois, Cady finally gets to experience public school and gets a quick primer on the cruel, tacit laws of popularity that divide her fellow students into tightly knit cliques. She unwittingly finds herself in the good graces of an elite group of cool students dubbed "the Plastics," but Cady soon realizes how her shallow group of new friends earned this nickname.

I love this movie, the original, I haven't seen the new version of it which has recently been in the cinema. Mean girls is very funny and shows the cliques at modern high schools. It's wrong but I loved Regina George. She was so mean she was funny, I found it hard to hate her. 

Dangerous Minds!
Former Marine Louanne Johnson lands a gig teaching in a pilot program for bright but underachieving teens at a notorious inner city high school. After having a terrible first day, she decides she must throw decorum to the wind. When Johnson returns to the classroom, she does so armed with a no nonsense attitude informed by her military training and a fearless determination to better the lives of her students, no matter what the cost.

Did you know this was based on a true story? It was based on the autobiographical 1992 book My Posse Don't Do Homework by US Marine-turned-teacher LouAnne Johnson. I didn't know that until I was writing this blog post. It is a heart warming story that at times is quite tragic but shows a growing bond between a group of socially discarded students and a very special teacher.

High School Musical!
Troy Bolton, the star athlete at a small town high school falls for nerdy beauty Gabriella Montez at a holiday karaoke party. When they return to campus Troy and Gabriella audition for the upcoming school musical. Meanwhile, the jealous Sharpay Evans conspires to squelch their chances. The two must struggle to make it to auditions while also meeting their existing obligations to the basketball team and the academic decathlon.

This is only on my list because I was made to love it as my girls used to be obsessed with it, my eldest especially! I have lost count of the times that I have seen it. The story is straightforward and predictable, the acting was just OK and the script was cringey at times but can be forgiven because of the music! 

What are your favourite school movies?

Tuesday 27 February 2024

Irrational fears that I have.

 I am one of those people who always thinks the worst scenario about things, I go though all of the what if's. Most things that I think about will never happen but it doesn't stop me thinking. I thought I would share those fears, partly to get them out there and partly to find some reassurance and for someone to say I am not the only one who worry's about silly things like these. Don't worry, these things are not things that I think about all of the time but do cross my mind once in a while.

Fears

I always worry that I am going to fall down the stairs when I am in the house alone. Our stairs are quite steep and there is about 13 stairs straight down with the shoe rack at the bottom and a little square before the front door. On the off chance I can ring someone to come and help me with my mobile that I might have in my hand, how will they get in because the chances are I would be up against the front door. I've never fallen down the stairs since I was a child or even came close.

I have a fear of accidentally sending a text message to the person I'm complaining or moaning about or not actually hanging up the phone and saying something which should not be heard by the other person. I have never done this before and I am really careful so I doubt it could happen but what if it did?.

This one is really morbid but what happens to my blog if I died? I have given Stu instructions to write a blog post saying I am no longer hear and what happened. I would like people to know if it happened suddenly and not wonder where I went or speculate on what happened but I don't think he would check to see if I had posts scheduled. For example I have a couple scheduled for later this year, would that freak you out reading someone had died and then seeing a post months later about something Autumn or Christmas related. lol

I am always scared of the power going off and not coming back on at all! How would we cope, mostly without lights, the TV, blogs and TikTok!!

What if robots took over the world. I think I have watched the Terminator films too many times and the technology today is getting way too clever especially the A.I things. If the world could just chill out with how fast we are pushing things that would be good.

I always get a fear that when I go to the loo in the middle of the night when I am coming back upstairs someone will come behind me and grab my legs. It will never happen but I always run like my life depends on it.

I have always said that I want to be cremated when I die but what if my family decide to bury me and I am not really dead? I am totally blaming Buffy the Vampire Slayer for this fear.

When I bring the washing in from off the line outside I am always scared that a wasp has flown up into the arm or a sweater or the leg or some trousers and then I put them on and get stung. I don't do well with wasp stings. A sting won't kill me but I am allergic to them and swell up badly. I always make sure to shake everything, a lot so the chances of this happening is slim.

When I pay for something using my bank card I always panic that it won't work and I have to walk away leaving a basket of what I have picked up. My fear isn't even that I won't have money in the bank because I always check before I leave the house but it just not working at all.

What irrational fears do you have?

Monday 26 February 2024

Our weekly meal plan! 26th Feb - 3rd March. #MealPlanningMonday

Our weekly meal plan

Last weeks meal plan went well. We ate just about everything. The highlight of our week was the home made pizza and the lamb meatloaf which ended up being beef because lamb mince is so expensive. We did have a little mishap with the leftover Bolognese as Becky was being helpful and put it in the freezer forgetting we were supposed to be having it in wraps that evening. Oops. It was OK as we just had the fish, chips and mushy peas I had planned before the meal plan went off by a day. We didn't end up going out for lunch. We just wanted a lazy Sunday at home. I did think about ringing to get it delivered but in the end we had sausage sandwiches.

We don't have much on this week, well after today we don't. The new Sky broadband is being put in sometime today. I am hoping they come early just so it's out of the way. I hate having people in the house, Stu is here so he can deal with it but he does have an important phone call to take sometime this morning, my betting is the call happens when the Sky engineer is here. 

On the menu this week we have:

Monday - Pizza! Not home made one's, just fresh one's from the supermarket.
Tuesday - Home made pea and ham soup! It is our favourite soup and considering the kids are not massive pea fans they wolf it down.
Wednesday - Quiche, chips and salad. We haven't had quiche for ages, it's usually a summer thing but the girls have been asking for it.
ThursdaySticky Coca Cola chicken and rice.
Friday - Fish finger sandwiches. A nice and easy way to end the week.
Saturday - Chicken fajitas. 
Sunday - Sunday lunch out.

What are you eating this week?

Sunday 25 February 2024

Week 8 of #Project365 18th - 24th February A photo every day for a year!

How is it the last week in February when January seemed to last forever? We have had a good week, just doing our normal thing. I have been watching a lot of TV, I do love it when there's a good run of new things to watch.

Yesterday I spent the afternoon decluttering and having a change around in the living room. I moved my arm chair and the sofa just to make things easier on Monday when Sky come to put the new broadband in. I really don't understand why we need a new router and cables but apparently it's going to be twice the speed for the same price. 

Today Becky and I are going to have the afternoon in front of the TV watching the latest WWE wrestling pay per view. It was on yesterday but I was busy, she was sleeping from a night shift and then there was a lot on TV to watch. I saw so many people from America not happy that it was on for them to watch at something like 2am as it was live from Australia. I have no sympathy, I used to stay up years ago to watch PPV's from America when they used to start in the early hours of the morning here, I would have a couple of hours of sleep and start work at 7am. lol

Now for a photo every day!

Giraffes and pizza
Seeds and meatloaf
Sunset
My dad and hayfever tablets

49/365 - 18th February
Meet Getty, Gertrude and Gavin the giraffes. They have been named now. hehehe I got them on Saturday from town and they found a home on my shelf the next day!

50/365 - 19th February
We made our own pizzas. I bought the ready made dough but we put our own toppings on. They were so good, much better than shop bought one's.

51/365 - 20th February
I have started thinking about the garden and bought some seeds. I am determined to grow sweetcorn this year, they were doing well last year until we went on holiday and they died off.

52/365 - 21st February
Meatloaf! It was supposed to be lamb but have you seen the price of lamb mince? We went with beef and it still tasted just as good. It's a recipe that I got from Gousto.

53/365 - 22nd February
Stu rang when he had finished work and I went to put the rubbish out and saw the sunset, I had to ring him back after I had taken a photo! It just goes to show it's lighter on an evening as a few weeks ago it was totally dark outside when he finished work.

54/365 - 23rd February
My dad! He hates having his photo taken but this one was needed to renew his passport. It's scary how much I look like him now. I have his nose and my brother has his wild hair. lol

55/365 - 24th February
I woke up yesterday with a cold or so I thought, Becky said check to see if there's lots of pollen and it turns out tree pollen is indeed high at this time of year. It did feel more like hay fever than a cold as I had itchy eyes. I took a tablet and felt much better after a couple of hours.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

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Saturday 24 February 2024

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

This week my Word of the Week is:

Watching

I always have the TV on in the background when I am doing other things and for the last few months I have been watching Grey's Anatomy but I finished that and I have had to find new things to watch. On Sunday I spent a good half hour looking through Netflix and Disney+ to find something new to watch and nothing was taking my fancy until I spotted One Day!

I started the week watching One Day on Sunday and finished it on Monday. lol, the series off Netflix. One Day tells the story of Emma and Dexter who on 15th July 1988, the night of their graduation speak for the very first time. The next morning, they go their separate ways but where will they be on this one ordinary day the next year, and the year after that, and every year that follows! Each episode finds Dexter and Emma one year older, they grow and change, move together and apart and experience joy and heartbreak. I am not going to spoil it but it is such a rollercoaster of a show. I managed to avoid any spoilers so the ending was not what I expected. I am so glad I watched it.

Monday saw the start of a new series, Breathtaking the new Covid19 drama from ITV.  "Dr Abbey Henderson and her team struggle with the first wave of Covid-19 patients. Running out of PPE, staff, and beds, Abbey is forced to make difficult healthcare decisions as her colleagues begin to be infected with Covid-19. When lockdown is finally imposed, the pandemic stretches Abbey and the team to their limits.

I watched the first episode when it was shown on TV and binged the rest off ITVX. It made me so angry and sad. As normal people we think we have a good idea about what happened in hospitals but after watching shows like this I for one really don't. It was heart breaking but also infuriating that they had to follow so many rules from the government when the government didn't even have a clue what was going on! It's scary to think that my dad came so close to going into hospital when he had Covid, I dread to think what could have happened.

I have been so angry watching Coronation Street over the past couple of months with the bullying storyline. Poor Liam! My youngest Ellie was bullied at school and I think if we hadn't have moved house she could have been been like Liam, Googling how to harm themselves. I really feel for Marie, as a parent you do feel helpless especially if your child tries to deal with the bullying alone and I am so surprised Gary hadn't attacked Mason sooner. At least the majority of it is out in the open now but I have read that it isn't the end of the storyline.

So now I am rewatching Peaky Blinders, I saw Cillian Murphy on the BAFTA's on Sunday evening and it reminded me of what a great actor he is. I was sat here during the week on Thomas Shelby's wedding day and Becky was just on her way to bed but had to stay up and watch the "no fighting" speech that he does. hehehe She has never seen a full episode but catches bits when it's shown late on an evening when she's at work, she keeps meaning to watch it.

When I am done with Peaky Blinders I am going to watch Waterloo Road. Ellie has been watching it off the BBC iPlayer for a few weeks and is on the 5th series, Becky started watching it last week and is on the 2nd series so I think I need to watch it too as it's all they are talking about.

Tonight I am looking forward to watching Ant & Dec's Saturday night takeaway. It's the last series of it that they are doing which does make me sad but they deserve a break, this is the 20th series! Then after that we will watch The 1% Club. It's Becky's weekend off work so it will be a real family night in front of the TV. 

What have you been watching lately?

Word of the Week linky

Friday 23 February 2024

What I have loved this week! Week 8. #FridayFavourites

Hello there and happy Friday! We are back into a routine now after my fella having a couple of days off work and my youngest having a week off college for half term. I am linking up with Erika and Andrea and sharing some of my favourites from the past week.

What I have loved this week

Eating our favourite meals!
Over the last 3 or 4 months we have been getting Gousto boxes delivered where everything is included to make the meals that you choose of their website but we have decided to have a break from them being delivered. I have a folder full of recipes and we are going back and having some of our favourites again. This week it was the lamb meatloaf, which I made with beef mince as lamb mince was double the price. It still tasted good. We also had Spaghetti Bolognese and garlic bread which we hadn't had in ages.

A day out shopping!
I like the shopping trips where we're just window shopping and looking for nothing in particular. On Saturday we had one of those trips and bought a few things and got a few bargains. We were in HMV and saw a Mickey Mouse doormat for £4.99, it was reduced from £15 and some Squid Game and Anime mugs for 49 pence. I said to my fella you can't even buy a plain white mug for that price now a days so they were a bargain. My eldest loves Squid Game so she was very happy. 

There is a shop in town which sells wooden gifts, most of them are handmade by crafty people locally and I just had to buy these giraffes. They are so cute and are now in my living room on a shelf.

Wooden giraffes

Broken boots!
It is not a favourite that my youngest girls favourite boots broke, the sole started to come off and after she had seen it she pulled it a little and came off more. She's had them a few years and they are her favourite boots. I said that it was doubtful she would get the same but we checked the shop we had bought the originals from and they still sell them! They look slightly different but the basics are the same, a zip up the side and laces which is what she wanted. She wore them yesterday and of course she needs to wear them in a little before she starts wearing them to go to college.

All you can eat!
We went to an all you can eat place on Saturday! Our favourite place, they do all sorts of food. Chinese, Indian, Sushi, English and even things like pizza. We have never been on a Saturday lunch time and were pleasantly surprised that there was all the food that they offer on an evening, usually they have a limited menu. We all ate far too much but it was worth the £15 each. I did find out that I don't like roast duck, I picked it up thinking it was pork and had quite the shock when I put it into my mouth. lol

Food from Wings all you can eat

Beyonce - Texas Hold Em!
I don't know why but I never thought of Beyonce singing a country song but here we are and she is! I first heard her new song on TikTok and I am thinking this week it is my most played song off Spotify!

A lazy Sunday!
After having a few busy days being out and about we felt like we needed a lazy Sunday. We slept until late, stayed in our PJ's, drank tea and watched lots of TV. It was such a nice day of relaxing and a great way to start the new week.

Dressing up! 
My youngest and I dressed up a little for going out. She got what my fella and I are calling the Freddy Krueger dress for Christmas and has been dying to wear it. She loves it and said it was so comfy. I think she looked great in it. Looking at the photo of me makes me think that I really need to dye my hair. The brown and greys roots are taking over the pink!

My youngest and I dressed up

Peaky Blinders!
After finishing rewatching Grey's Anatomy and watching a few other things I couldn't think what to watch so I am back watching Peaky Blinders! I have see it before and wanted something on the TV in the background. I do love this show and Cillian Murphy, he is a fantastic actor!

Clean teeth!
My youngest was at the dentist, just for a 6 monthly check up and this is the first time in a few years that the dentist didn't have anything to say about extra brushing needed, her teeth are perfect! Phew! I am putting it down to changing the brand of tooth paste that we use. 

Friday Favorites linky

What have you loved over the past week?

Thursday 22 February 2024

Planning a prom on a budget.

After finishing her GCSE's and leaving school Ellie went to her prom at school. I was dreading it, not because of the prom it's self, just the cost of it all. When you think of proms you think expensive but they really don't have to be, all in all we didn't really spend that much.

prom corsages

Prom night is a magical experience that many school leavers really look forward to but the costs that come with it can add up quickly leaving both students and parents stressed about the financial burden. The good news is that with careful planning and creativity you can have an unforgettable prom night without breaking the bank.

Start Early and Set a Clear Budget:
Begin your prom planning early to give yourself time to find the best deals. Set a realistic budget that includes all potential expenses, such as the outfit, hair and beauty, transport, any tickets and any extras.

The dress/suit/outfit:
Look for affordable dresses or suits online, at discount stores or even consider borrowing from friends or family. You can always rent an outfit from specialist shops but I really didn't want to do that in case it ended up ripped or stained. Potentially your teen might only wear the outfit once so don't go spending a small fortune!

The biggest expense for us was Ellie's dress. It cost around £20 from Shein which was a real bargain in comparison to her friends outfits. It wasn't the typical puffy, princess looking dress but it is what Ellie wanted.


Shop second hand by exploring charity shops or search online websites or apps for formal wear like Vinted or eBay. You might be surprised at the hidden gems you can find at a fraction of the cost.

Skip the expensive salon appointments and opt for DIY hair and makeup. There are numerous online tutorials and resources that can help you achieve a glamorous look without the hefty price tag. I did Ellie's hair, make up and nails and it cost hardly anything as we already had everything we needed. All Ellie bought was a set of false nails which cost about £1.50 and they looked so pretty.

Transport:
Getting to prom can be a massive expense with teenagers wanting to arrive in style. If you get your teen to share the cost or renting a limo or fancy car with some of their friends it can cut the cost dramatically. If you know someone who has a fancy car ask them for a lift. 

My dad was going to take Ellie in his vintage kit car but ended up having issues when it wouldn't start on the day! Eek! My brother stepped into help and Ellie arrived in the back of his Luton Van. Ellie actually got the biggest cheer of the evening arriving with her grand entrance going down on the moving platform thing at the back. She had the time of her life! 

Photos:
The only thing we couldn't save money on was the prom photos and to be honest I wished I hadn't bothered with them. Ellie is a shy girl so there was only 2 photos of her, one walking up the red carpet which I had taken myself anyway and another with a couple of her friends. If you have a confident child who loves being in front of the camera I imagine they would be well worth it but for us it wasn't.

Did you spend much for your teenagers proms?