Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Grooving mum's - being rash

I can't believe what I have just done. I am both a little proud of myself but also hoping I have done the right thing as I am having an attack of conscience!

At the end of January, I am helping to run a meeting in Rome. I have never been to Rome and I have always wanted to go. The meeting will run from lunchtime on the Thursday until Friday evening. I have no problems travelling alone as I have done this many times and infact enjoy it - it really does provide 'me' time. However I would be very, very upset to travel all that way and only see the country from the aeroplane/transfer to the hotel and the inside of the hotel which is what happened when I did the trip to Vancouver.

I have very rashly just gone and booked myself a night's stay in a 3* hotel with good reviews for the night before the meeting. My flight and transfers are paid for but I will have to pay this extra night but at £50.00 in the centre of Rome, (it was a deal and should of been £115.00) I feel it is worth it. I do feel guilty and that sensible little voice in my head keeps saying we should be saving the money, but I never spend on me, and do have some things to go on eBay which might help towards it. I will only have to get my evening meal and in reality I could take a pack of supernoodles with me - I won't! I am also VERY excited now! I plan on seeing as much as possible.

I also got talking to another mum in the school pick up queue and it seems 2 of her 3 children were premature and she was telling me about the Bliss support group she was setting up, which was launched yesterday. She told me I should go along even though mine are now 5 and 8. I did, although I was very hesitant and I was right, you could see people wondering what I was doing there as they all had young babies and quite a few asked and made 'surprised' noises when I explained I had 2 older ones. However, I did get a lovely long cuddle with a 30 weeker who talked away to me, and I did chat to a few people despite feeling a little out of place. I'm glad I made myself go.

I have also started my Bach Emotional Eating kit thing, only this morning so I can't really comment on whether it will have an effect or not.

Finally I have also taken the plunge and sent out invites to a murder mystery evening at ours on New Years Eve which I am really looking forwards to. There should be 8 of us. I got a severe knock in the summer when I tried to organise a summer housewarming BBQ / my birthday celebration and on the actual day I was left with my brother and wife still coming and one of my oldest friends who had said all along they had a busy day and would only be able to pop in for an hour or so. I was really upset so many dropped out at such short notice and proper threw my dolly out of the pram and decided I would never bother again. I cancelled the whole BBQ and we still have sausages in the freezer!! So I am praying we don’t have the same situation again. Hopefully with smaller numbers and the fact I asked them all about a month ago before buying the game, it should be a success.

This week I really feel like I have found my groove!

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

An ode to the rats

There's a rat in my dustbin, dear husband, dead husband
There's a rat in my dustbin, dear husband, a rat

To work I will go, dear wifey, dear wifey
To work I will go, dear wifey, I'm late

It's only seven thirty, dear hubby. dear hubby
It's only seven thirty, dear hubby, you're scared

Help please, come quick dear Daddy, dear Daddy
Help please, come quick dear Daddy, come quick

Make it quick, please, dear Daddy, dear Daddy
Make it quick please, dear Daddy, nice and quick

Let that be a warning, ratty friends, ratty friends
Let that be a warning, ratty friends, a warning!


7.30 am I am out in the garden in slippers and dressing gown and lift the bin liner from the dustbin to put out for collection and realise there is something moving in the bottom of the bin, then it starts jumping. Worst though was it was still dark so I couldn't quite see. I slammed the lid on the bin and ran inside telling t'husband I thought there was a rat. Being such a man, he legged it to work!

However, Dad to the rescue, and yes it was a rat, I've seen bigger at the stables but this was big enough especially as it was right outside my backdoor. I am now petrified we have a nest somewhere, that they are climbing my drainpipes and setting up home in the loft and coming up through the downstairs loo.

We have loads of garden branches etc behind the gates which we need to take to the tip, Dad recons they could nest in there or the greenhouse or the compost bin. We have a field behind the house so it could of come looking for food off there but I am not happy now!

The council will come and check for a nest then charge us £70.00 to get rid of them. I think we should just pay it! 

I am linking up to Here Comes the Girl's with this post as it has really thrown my day and my really bad headache is doing nothing to make my day improve!

Friday, 9 December 2011

Time to declutter and sort out

And by that I am not actually talking about a pre-Christmas clearout with the  boys, I am talking about my head!

I am fed up of my lack of organisation, I am a disaster zone, everything done last minute, t-shirts and jumpers for school washed at midnight on a Sunday as I forgot to do them, getting up at stupid-o-clock to stick them on radiators and then finishing drying them in the microwave before anyone is up. Its a joke.

If I was more organised workwise I would probably achieve a hell of a lot more rather than sitting feeling depressed about how much I want to do and never seem to have time to do. I mess around, I waste time, I hate myself for doing it and then do some more of it.

Today I am going to start a few new things, this has got to stop.
  1. I am going to put reminders in my phone for literally everything, I am talking about down to details like:
    1. Monday - 7.30am clean bathroom, 9.10 clean kitchen and floor, 11.00 wash towels, 1.00 take dog out etc etc
    2. Tuesday - 7.30am do kitchen, 9.10 mop lounge and dining floor etc
    3. Wednesday - 9.10am strip beds and wash, 11.00 vacuum house etc etc
  2. Go out and buy some St Johns Wart. I have used this in the past and for me it has been effective. While I wouldn't say I was depressed and would certainly not be going to the doctors, I do think I am bordering on it as I am getting very overwhelmed by the simple things i life and then putting off doing them rather than addressing them.
  3. I am also going to go and buy a Bach Emotional Eating Kit. I know a lot of people don't think natural remedies work but I for one swear by them, having used them as a very reluctant teenager due to ME. I hated the idea and had to be manhandled into the room but it worked, despite my protests it wouldn't.                                                                                                                       The Bach Emotional Eating kit consists of 3 remedies which you can take alone of combine as you wish. They are meant to address times when you are doubting yourself, help you think more rationally, calm you down, learn from your experience and help you accept that you are not perfect. It is around £10.00 and I figure worth a go. I tried to get some in town this afternoon but my local store did not have any in so I will have to get some next week when in Leeds or something.
Between these I hope I can bring back some order to my life, get back to be organised, being on top of things and more importantly having time to actually do what I want instead of realising with an hour to spare I have wasted most of my day doing I am not sure, and then haven't got enough time to do anything.

Wish me luck!

Thursday, 8 December 2011

'Cardamom Black, Harrogate'

Today is my oldest friend's birthday, we have known each other since about 6 months old, grown up next door to each other and remain as close as sisters now. J's twins are the same age as Little Man which is also nice.

She has been a little down recently so I told her I would take her out for a curry for her birthday. Another friend joined us as well and we decided we would try the new curry house in town 'Cardamom Black'.

The building it is in use to be an Italian restaurant known as Pinocchio's and for many of us growing up in the town it holds birthday significance being a popular choice for birthday parties and my friend J always had her birthdays there. They have maintained the interior of the building as it pretty much was just redecorating it in black with lots of sparkly silver everywhere which made it a bit too bling bling. The toilets have moved as well.

We arrived at 8.15 and asked for a table for 3, and sat in the bar to wait with a bottle of red wine, our designated driver had coke which had to be replaced as it was flat. Our wine took a while to arrive as well and was very, very cold! By the time we tipped the last of the bottle of wine out we had resolved ourselves to having been forgotten and made the decision we would finish our drinks and move on. I asked at the bar first and it was apparent we had been forgotten and were ushered to a table in a near empty restaurant. There were 2 larger parties and that was about it, and I have a feeling one of the parties was family or connected to the restaurant.

Eventually the poppadoms arrived with a pickle tray and we were told they were on the house. Next wait we had was to order our main course, which as you may of guessed then took ages to arrive, as did the 2nd bottle of wine we ordered.  The food however was really, really good, massive compliments to the chef - it was well worth the wait. At the end of the meal, the manager appeared with a tray of mini deserts to apologise and they too were absolutely lovely.

The positives about 'Cardamom Black' were the quality of the food, and I also liked the menu was not the basic curry house menu, all the curries were different. At the bottom of the menu it stated that all the usual korma's, balti's, pasandas', dansaks etc were available. I liked that as it made me try something different. I did also appreciate the fact it was acknowledge we had been waiting with the starter and the deserts which were on the house.

The negatives was the constant waiting and feeling like we had been forgotten, and it was cold in there but they did say as we were leaving they were having problems with the heating.

They only opened on the 2nd December so are probably still having teething problems but I was very glad it was not busy in there as I don't think we would of been served at all. The quality of the food makes me want to return but I am hesitant due to the bar and waiting staff forgetting us.  I think I may wait a few months before eating there again and give them a chance to get established and up and running properly and then try it again. Although I was impressed with the food, I was also disappointed but it didn't ruin our night and my friend enjoyed her birthday which is what counts.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Life is like a box of chocolates

Saturday was the school Christmas fare. I was tied up doing my PTA duties - my first official time. I have reservations about this whole PTA thing which I am sure will make further posts but for now this post is about my Little Man and his tombola.

Little Man and Mini Man came to the fare with t'husband. They were both given £5.00 and told they could go to the stalls but once their money was gone that was it. Grandad turned up as well and was on strict instructions not to substitute. At nearly 8, we decided Little Man could go off round the fare by himself or with friends if he wanted but infact he chose to stay with Mini Man and his Dad ad Grandad.

On the tombola Mini Man won a large cracker shaped tube of Cadbury's chocolate, Little Man won a small box of Terry's All Gold Chocolates.

The joy I saw on his little face tonight when he finished his tea and asked if he could have one of his chocolates. He got his box from the fridge, sat at the breakfast bar and examined the choices on the lid. He then proceeded to rearrange the box so all the same chocolates were together and then asked what each one was. He picked each one up in turn, listened to what they were and properly considered if he fancied it. There was just sheer joy on his face at having such a choice. It was such a pleasure to watch.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Christmas crafts

Its that time of year again and I am getting crafty with the kids.  Below are 2 things we have done as cards for family.

They are so easy and so effective and can be done on paper of using ceramic paints if your child is small enough to make a plate for Grandparents or even as a keepsake.


This requires:

A piece of card or something of your choice
A small child's foot
2 small hands
A set of good paints
A washing up bowl of warm soapy water
A towel!

Take the child's foot and paint it, ideally brown but who says reindeer have to be brown? then place it on the paper (or plate etc). After washing the foot, take one of the child's hands and paint this and place it on the paper where the toes of the foot are, do the same with the other hand. Once the paint is dry, paint on a big red nose and 2 eyes and there you have a lovely reindeer made from your child's imprints.


This requires:

A piece of card or something of your choice
2 small hands
A set of good paints
A washing up bowl of warm soapy water
A towel!

Again nice and easy and a brilliant memento of your child. Using the hands, paint one and place it on the paper to form a print. Turn the paper upside down so the fingers of your hand are pointing down. Now paint both hands and place them either side of the single hand, fingers pointing in the opposite direction. On top of the palm of the middle hand paint a circle, add eyes and a smile and there you have a hand print angel.

We did these last year as well and had great fun, baking ideas to come next!

Monday, 5 December 2011

Grooving mums

I have lost track of time a little and am not sure if I have missed a week with this! its my age, that's what I say!

So how is getting my groove back going? Well I appear to be on a groove pogo stick. One day I seem to be on the up and really feeling my groove and then the next day I am right down at the bottom and looking in the gutter for it.

On the positive side, I am now on the PTA (actually not sure this is a positive, a tentative I would like to help became 4 members surrounding me in the playground telling me I was the new treasurer and despite my protests that my work is very unpredictable and I might be unreliable, I was sworn in as treasurer), anyhow I helped run the Christmas fare at the school which was great fun.  I got chatting to lots of different people and had a number saying hello today in the playground. I also like being more involved with the school.

My Little Man has moved up a reading level which has made me a very proud mummy, he has worked so hard to do it.

I had a long, long chat with the said parties who have trampled on me, spat me out and then kicked mud in my face and although the hurt is still there, I do feel we all want to move in the right direction and they have a much clearer understanding of how it has affected me. And I do feel better knowing they now realise just because on the outside I seem to be carrying on as normal as if nothing happened, it is a very different story inside.

I have also taken to wearing skirts again and making more of an effort. A friend and her husband came round and he commented on my skirt (a short one) and then a few days later she said she was really cross with me as G had not stopped going on about what I had been wearing and how nice I looked and why couldn't she dress like that? It did give me a real buzz!

I am off down Sauff tomorrow and staying with a really good friend for the night before having an interview for home based, part time work which should hopefully fit in round my freelancing but would mean we would get a definite regular income from me as well. I am just not impressed with the snow we have had all day so am praying it stays wet and doesn't settle as I don't fancy a 200 mile drive in it!

Thinks that's enough!

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Lumps of water

Today we haven't done much other than my attempt at a run with Dog this morning. I had to stop at the top of our road as he did a poo, I then had to stop to cross the road, and again to take his halti off when we reached the woods. After about 10 minutes of running I then bumped into 2 people I knew so again stopped, and once moving again, I hit a load of mud going downhill and was all over the place so had to slow again otherwise I would of been going down on my bum, so it was a bit of a stop start kind of run.

We have also started stripping our bedroom but appear to have lost the power lead to the wallpaper stripper which is very, very annoying as it seems to be a specialised fitting and not a standard kettle lead, meh!

After a couple of hours of scrapping we decided we would go for a walk with the boys and blow away a few cobwebs and perhaps have a cheeky pint if we happened past a pub which strangely enough we did.

At the bar the landlord asked Mini man what he wanted to drink - the standard answer is milk, but this time he asked for 'a glass of water please with some of those lumps of water in it'.

Well technically he is right, ice is lumps of water!!

This weeks actual Listography! Top Christmas songs

I don't think I am alone in thinking 5 top tips for making yourself look younger posted over at Kate takes 5 was this weeks listography but we are wrong. This week listography is being hosted by the lovely These precious things and is along the Christmas theme. So my top 5 Christmas songs are:

  1. The Pogues and Kirsty McCall 'A fairy Tale of New York' - I have a listography rule which is never read anyone elses until I have posted mine but I have to confess that I did see this topping These precious things' list, however it is my number one as well, I associate it with Christmas, and to be fair it wouldn't be Christmas without hearing it.
  2. George Michael - Last Christmas I gave you my heart - This brings back very strong memories of one Christmas eve being with a friend in her car and both belting it out as we drove somewhere - I have no idea where though!
  3. Band Aid ' Do they know its Christmas' - I have very strong memories of Band Aid, staying a friends and being allowed to stay up late to watch it.
  4. Judy Garland 'Have yourself a merry little Christmas' what more can I say, a true classic from the 1940's I think, remade countless times but never as good as the original.
  5. Jason mraz 'Winter Wonderland' - again a more recent one from the early 2000's but still one I'd be heard singing my heart out to (badly I might add).
I have enjoyed this little listography, I have surprised myself in thinking of quite a few others such as Mariah Carey 'All I want for Christmas is you', Sir Cliff Richard 'Misteltoe and Wine'. Mel and Kim 'Rockin around the Christmas Tree' and Kylie 'Santa baby'. oh and the Coca Cola advert music, that also signifies Christmas is truly here!

Saturday, 3 December 2011

5 top tips for looking younger

I love the idea of this listography from Kate Takes 5 this week, although I suspect my list is going to be pretty boring compared to some!

I think my best top tips to looking younger is:
  1. Not have kids!! No I love the boys and would not be without them, best thing I have ever done and my biggest achievement but having said that I lost my toned , flat stomach, fresh faced look and gained an attractive c-section bulge, permanent bags under my eyes, the haggard bag lady look to perfection and lots of grey hair!
  2. Don't wear make up for a day and constantly look in the mirror to see how old you really look, then the other 6 days you feel so much younger and better because you have it on!
  3. Invest in body control pants, tights, stomach ones - well everything, they are great for holding the wobbly bits in and making you look toned and athletic like you use to be in your early 20's. Note to self though, just because you can't feel yourself wobbling in various places and feel like you are in your early 20's and more athletic - you are not and it is just the half shandy you have drunk that you can no longer handle, confusing your aged brain.
  4. Hair dye - it is brilliant, got to use decent stuff though and not too far removed from my natural colour as I hate roots. I have only recently discovered semi permanents despite saying they do, don't actually cover grey hair well and a permanent dye makes all the difference.
  5. A decent pair of tweezers to pluck away those troublesome hairs that grow in places no lady should have hair that only older age brings (or is that just me because I am now on HRT at a young age?!!).
I am really looking forwards to other people's top tips, might try some of them out. Pop over to Kate Takes 5 to see what everyone else suggests.

Friday, 2 December 2011

The Elf on the Shelf

Has anyone heard of the Elf on the Shelf? I want one!!

I have only just heard of it having seen it on a friend's facebook page and I think it is brilliant.

Apparently it is an old Christmas tradition and I love traditions and think this one would be fab with my boys except I can;t find one - might have to make it a mission for next year.

Basically the Elf on a Shelf is a tiny elf that appears somewhere in the house on the 1st December. Each day he moves to a different place, this is because he sits and watches all the boys and girls in the house to make sure they are being well behaved and every night flies back to the North Pole and gives a report to Father Christmas. By the time the children wake up in the morning, he is back and in a new place. You can name your elf and visit The Elf on a Shelf website to register him and get an official adoption certificate, which I have just looked up and it seems they are more reasonably priced at $29.00 (although still a bit of a gulp factor going on there!).

I can't think of anything more fun but was slightly taken aback at the $99 price tag for a gift set one I just found on amazon, so I am now on the hunt for one but suspect I will have to either make my own for this year or wait to start this tradition to next year!

As you can probably tell I am writing this post while looking and it seems the official website does sell them and have them in stock. I might have to invest in one on Monday - although probably stretching the Christmas budget I think it is too nice a tradition to pass up. If I do manage to get one, I will post a daily picture of where our elf is sitting and doing his watching - fingers crossed t'husband allows me to spend the money once my invoice is paid!!