Friday, 13 November 2015

When life doesn't go to plan

Baby sensory classes, swimming lessons, baby massage, getting back into shape(well any other shape than the current one which pretty much resembles that of an orange)afternoons spent happily, comfortably and confidently breastfeeding in cafes with mummy friends. House work done, laundry always sorted, house always clean and tidy, routine, structure, schedule...The perfect family... WRONG!!!!!
Maternity leave hasn't quite gone to plan. Whilst I knew having a baby during the summer holidays would turn summer into one big blur, I also knew that once September came and I could instill structure and routine, things would be lovely, bliss if you like but that really hasn't been the case. With my eldest son in his final year of primary school I have done 13 school tours at 11 schools across three boroughs. We've had my mother-in-law in intensive care for two weeks, a baby who is back-and-forth at the baby clinic because her weight gain has been in the words of her paediatrician 'sub optimal', a leaky roof that has been a disaster to get sorted, a new street door and frame being fitted, a cooker that broke down and was repaired only for my husband to smash the top of the cooker at the very next day and a seriously stroppy teenage daughter.
This isn't quite what I had planned. 
 It's hard to believe that in just 5 months my maternity leave will be over and I will be leaving my adorable baby and going back to work. If I could rewind the time I would go back to the beginning when baby was first born and start all over again but I can't so moving forward I guess I have to be realistic and roll with the punches as it were.
It's so easy to let things get on top of you, overwhelm you and make you forget exactly why and who you are doing all of this for which is definitely what has happened to me.
So after a few deep breaths (and more than a few cursewords), I refuse to let things defeat me. I am going to have a long soak in the bath reevaluate everything and get right back on track.
I look at my kids and I know that despite my off days or weeks, I'm doing something right and I need to keep doing it for them.

Have a lovely weekend everyone.

M xx

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Chocolate Covered Marshmallows

The week before any school holiday I always find to be quite hectic and last week was definitely no exception. 
Meet the teachers, open classes, trip meetings, black history social evening, tracking day and more, so when my 6 year old reminded me that there was a PTA cake sale and I needed to make something I knew I needed a quick and easy recipe. 

A little while back I made chocolate marshmallows with little monster and I knew these would be the quickest and simplest thing to make.

I haven't included measurements as you will be able to judge how much you need based on how many you want to make.

You will need
Cooking chocolate
Bamboo skewers(yes that really is it!)

What to do
Thread 3 or 4 marshmallows(depending on size) on each bamboo skewer until you have the desired amount

Melt the chocolate (you can either do this in a microwave but make sure you stop and stir it every 10 seconds or so or you can melt it in a bowl over simmering water)

Once the chocolate is melted, give it a good stir then start to coat all of the marshmallow skewers in the chocolate.

Lay on a sheet of baking paper until completely dry and hard. 
We had some sprinkles in the cupboard so added those before the chocolate dried.

That's all there is to it. 3 items and 3 steps and you have a sellout treat(these sold out at our cake sale in less than 3 minutes)

Have fun!

Monday, 26 October 2015

Weekly Meal Planner

Ok, so last week was a disaster! Sickness, tiredness, late nights, meetings, constant arguing amongst the kids and more. By Thursday I just wanted to crawl under my duvet and hide from the world for the foreseeable future, BUT after a family meeting at the weekend and a productive Sunday, fingers crossed, we are back on track!

As this week is half term, we've had a think about what we will be doing during the days and as a family we've worked out a meal guide that will work for us.

Chilli dogs, wedges and onion rings

Salmon, green beans, peas and cheesy pasta

Pork ribs, noodles and salad

Spaghetti bolognese

We are off to Brighton to will be having a seaside classic of fish 'n' chips!

Chicken nachos

Lamb curry, pilau rice, salad and naan breads

What's on your menu this week?

M xx

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Our Family Quote

This last week has been a pretty traumatic week for us as a family. When ill health hit and the threat of death threaten a loved one you start to appreciate what and who you have just that bit more.

This quote really does sum it all up, so this week we will be focussing on what we mean to each other even when little brothers are being annoying, big sisters are bossy, parents are boring and baby sisters cry a lot!

Have a lovely week all!

M xx

Weekly Meal Planner

Last week was a manic one. We had an impromptu school meeting, a few Dr's appointments, the hospital admission of a relative, 2 children struck with gastro-enteritis and I had 3 consecutive nights of no sleep!
One of my saving graces was having my meal plan to fall back on to help keep some kind of normality. I've noticed that since starting meal planning again I am visiting the supermarket less, spending less money and there is a lot less food waste.
This week is set to be another busy one but with some good old family favourites and quick meals hopefully we'll get through.

Spaghetti Bolognese and garlic bread 

Beef stir fry

Jacket potatoes with various fillings 

Ham, egg and chips 

Pizzas and tortilla chips

Fried chicken, homemade wedges, coleslaw and salad

Homemade chicken and vegetable pie, new potatoes and seasonal roasted vegetables  

What are your stress free, go to meals?

M xx

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Our Family Quote

The kids have decided that every week we should pic a positive or inspirational quote and try to live by it for the week. 
I was really impressed by this notion and good vibes are always welcome in this house, so with that in mind we set about thinking what we want to achieve by this new goal.
These were just some of the things the kids came up with that they feel we could achieve by referring back to our inspirational quote when things are a bit tense in life and I have to admit, there are some great ideas there.

After some consideration we decided on this as our quote for the coming week...
Time is priceless, so this week we will be thinking about what we do with our time and spending it wisely.

Have a lovely week.

M xx

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Weekly Meal Planner

Since being on maternity leave and getting back into a routine I've found that I am able to spend more time in the kitchen and enjoying what I'm actually making.
The kids have been commenting on how much they are enjoying the variety of meals that they are getting and that in itself is reward enough for me.
So, here is this weeks meal planner

Fajitas, potato wedges and corn on the cob

Chilli con carne, rice, tortilla chips, salsa and salad

Sausage casserole and mash potato

Homemade pizzas and salad

Fish, chips and mushy peas

Bacon and mushroom pasta

Full lamb roast

What's on your menu for this week?

M xx

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Weekly Meal Planner

Ok ok I know. It's been waaaaaay to long but now things are finally getting back on track I have managed to get myself back into the routine of a meal plan and not only is it helping the house run smoothly, it's also saved us a fortune from all the take out we we're buying for 'convenience.'

As always, planning the weeks meals around after school clubs, appointments, work etc isn't easy but it definitely makes for a more harmonious household in the evenings. So without further ado here is this weeks meal plan.

Spaghetti Bolognese and salad

Pizza, dough balls and salad

Beef stew, dumplings and homemade bread

Sausages, mash and onion gravy

Bacon, onion and mushroom quiche, wedges and beans

Shepherds pie and mixed veg

Jerk chicken, rice and peas, plantain and vegetables

What's on your menu for the coming week?

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Happy New Year!!

Well wow, hasn't the time flown!

It has been a few months( 6 actually) since I last blogged which I know is waaaay too long but there have been big changes in our household that have made it really difficult to get anything other than the essentials done. No, no, no, not that, we haven't had a baby!
I've gone from a full time work at home mum to a full time working at a 9-5 job mum.
Whilst I absolutely loved the flexibility of being a WAHM and the opportunities it offered, I was starting to feel like I had lost a bit of me and with little monster starting year 1 in September I felt it was a now or never decision.
I had originally applied for a job in a school not too far from home but after being offered it the reality of not being able to take time off to see the kids performances or taking days here and there not to mention the 8am start(childcare would have been a nightmare) I had to turn the job down....but literally a week later the same school called me and offered me a job in the on-site children's centre - Perfect!
The job is extremely flexible, a 20 minute bus ride from home and what's more the small team of people that I work with are absolutely amazing.
I won't lie, there have been bumps along the way and the biggest heartache was putting little monster into breakfast and after school club, meaning I can't drop him off and pick him up from school everyday but generally this job has brought tons of positives into the household.
We find ourselves appreciating each other more and wanting to spend more quality time with each other, our scheduling has got rather good and I've found that little bit of me again!

I've been here since the end of August now and am loving every minute of it. Finally we have established a routine that works for us and family life is settling back down...for now.

M xx