Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Tracks of my years

Many moons ago when I was young and carefree.......Nelson Mandela was being released from prison, Italy was hosting the World Cup and we were all singing the Wonder Stuff's 'Size of a Cow', wearing cut off denim shorts with stripy tights and Doc Martins, I was lucky enough to have a group of about 15 friends. We did pretty much everything together, or in smaller groups comprised of the same people.......trips to the cinema or American Adventure, drinking a bottle of Newcastle Brown between all of us, getting grounded for vastly unjust reason........ we also used to have amazing house parties.

All of our Parents were pretty cool and because they knew everyone in the group they would rather us have house parties and keep an eye on what we were up too (or at least they thought so!!!)  At one of these house parties, where actually I don't remember there being any parents, we partied all night and on the stereo on repeat was this song:

It was an awesome party and since then it has become mine and Nelly's song. Every time I hear it I smile and it makes me feel young again!!!  This one is for her because we miss her very much and I know she's feeling a bit homesick at the mo :-( Love you Nelly xxx

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Easter Eggs handmade by Us

Chick has mainly had money for Easter this year as everyone seems to think that she's too old for eggs??? I don't think so but anyways whilst she was spending the money that her Dad gave her (on books of all things.....seriously.....she has a library in her room already!!) we came across some easter egg molds for 59p so I told her that we'd make our own eggs.

The weather has been absolutely glorious but Chick was fed up of the sunshine yesterday, after spending all morning out on her bike, so we thought that we'd have a go. These are our fabulous 59p plastic molds:

Mmmmmmmm chocolate and a helping hand from my girl:

We did have some initial problems with the consistency but I think we figured it out in the end. Once they had set I stuck the two halves of the small eggs together with more chocolate, wrapped them in foil and put them in the centre of the egg. This was the finished product:

A foil and ribbon wrapping and they were all done! Not sure how great they will taste but they look pretty damn good and we are really pleased with them.  I also made a plate of goodies for myself......chocolate dipped marshmallows and mini solid chocolate eggs (left) although it doesn't quite compare to Chick's stash from the Easter Bunny (right)!!!!

With Easter wishes and the hope that you all have a wonderful day.....Love from Me & Chick x

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Changing Rooms.....on a budget!

My lovely friend Karen who blogs at All about the Boys has been my inspiration this week. She has 3 boys all under 18 and loves white. Most of her house is white and it always looks immaculate. Just re-read that sentence back to yourself........Yes, that's correct she has 3 boys under 18 and lives in a white house!!!! Also, no, she isn't crazy and she tries to do it all on a budget. Check out her other blog 'The White Approach' to see just how lovely their home is.

I decided last week that my living room needed a bit of a re-vamp but I only had a budget of £30!!! Now before I show you how it worked out there is something that I should tell you about us.......a) Chick and I are both hoarders b) we are both VERY messy c) I hate cleaning and d) our house has NO storage.....like none and it's an utter pain especially when mixed with a, b and c!!!

So these are the before shots of our lounge on a usual evening when Chick has been home for more than 10 minutes:
I refer you to the points above. So armed with my £30 I hit the shops for inspiration and saw these cushions for £4 each in Primark so bought 2 and used this as my starting point:

I also had the throw to go with them which was £5:

On one of my walls I had these pictures which obviously needed changing:

The only pictures that I could find that I loved were in John Lewis but were massively out of my price range on this occasion. I'd looked all over town for something similar but cheaper and couldn't find anything when I found myself wondering the aisles in the Pound shop. Out of the corner of my eye I spotted two cushion covers that would be perfect as pictures, so I bought them and covered the old pictures and I have to say that I absolutely love the way they have turned out:

Not to everyone's taste I'm sure but I'm thrilled with them and the good thing is that if I decide to go back to brown I will still have the original pictures!!! I cut the little love hearts out from my lunch bag and added them to the picture on the left!

So with the cushions as the base I decided to go to B&Q and have the paint mixed to my exact specifications and as I only needed a small pot it was £11.   It was the coolest thing ever!!!!! They scanned the cushion and then mixed it to that colour......I can't tell you how excited I was by this whole process.....sad I know :-)  This is how fabulous it looks on the wall:

The other thing that the room desperately needed was a bloody good clean!!! I got rid of most of the toys that Chick no longer plays with although had to keep one corner of her stuff, threw away crap that was kept around for no apparent reason and scrubbed the whole thing including the couches! This is the finished room:

My total cost? Well I did go over budget but I spent....................£32!!!! Woo Hoo for having a shiny new lounge for £32. I am now saving to have shelves put up in both alcoves so will let you know if I ever get the money together :-)

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Tracks of my years

The lovely Jen over at The Madhouse has come a with a great idea of sharing a music track every week on her blog. Part of the reason that I blog is so that when Chick is a teenager (and hates me) she can look back at my little old blog and see that I tried my best with everything that I had. I figure it will also be nice if she can see a little bit of what makes me tick!   I probably won't join in every week but it's kind of cool and as I have quite eclectic taste in music hopefully there will be something for everyone. 

My first track is mine and Chick's Dad song. It isn't romantic but it sums up exactly what we were like at the time and reminds me of one night when we were both head banging to it and dancing around like lunatics:

Feel free to link up if you have a song or a memory that you would like to share :-)

Friday, 15 April 2011

My List of 5.....

So the lovely Kate from Kate Takes 5 had a Listography a couple of weeks ago for everyone to discuss their laminated list......you know like the scene in Friends where Ross has removed Isabella Rosellina from his and then meets her in Central Perk so doesn't get to have a 'One Night Stand' with her because she's no longer on the list???  Now normally I wouldn't get involved but after reading about Cass from Frugal Family's terrible taste in men I thought I'd give it a go ;-)

Without a doubt the first on my list for the last 7 years has been the original 'Mr.Big'.....Chris Noth:

Can anyone say yum!!! Not only slick, moody and well dressed but he would also keep me in Manolos!! What more could a girl ask for???

Number 2 probably comes as a surprise after Chris but I do love me a bit of rough so it would have to be Caleb Followill from Kings of Leon!!! Dirty, gorgeous, talented but a nice Southern boy at the same time so you could introduce him to your Mum...... I may have stalked him last year.............

Josh Holloway comes in at number 3 for purely shallow and aesthetic reasons:

How beautiful is this man??? Smother him in chocolate and give me a couple of hours with him and I would die a happy woman!!!

Aaaaaahhhh Mr Jon Bon Jovi!!! I have sadly fancied him since I was 14 and I still wouldn't kick him out of bed for eating biscuits! Hasn't aged that well but for the sake of nostalgia will always make my top 5!!

Now I did toy with the option of keeping number 5 open in case anyone else should pop up into my memory but I decided to go with a choice from left field:

Evangeline Lilly. Wow! She is seriously hot and if I was thinking about turning lesbian, she would be number 1 on my hit list so why not include her???

People that just missed out on a top 5 spot: Channing Tatum, Phillip Glenister, David Beckham, Serge & Tom from Kasabian, Richie Sambora, Jensen Ackles, Jonny Knoxville and Adam Sandler, 

I would be very interested in hearing what your top 5 would be?? ;-)

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Local discoveries and lots of cake!!

When I was young, I hated living in my little one horse town because it was 'boring' and there was nothing to do!!! Now I appear to have consigned my daughter to the same fate but I can also see the plus points of living here. We live in a medium size town no more than 15 miles from three big Cities. In a 5 minute drive you can be deep in the Leicestershire countryside and inside an hour we can be in the Peak District. Most places in the UK can be reached within 3 hours so it has some plus points is what I'm saying!!!

Apart from a few notable gaps I've pretty much always lived in Leicestershire and I like to think I know the Area pretty well.  However I always find it delightful when someone tells you about a hidden gem that you have no idea about. A couple of weeks ago I was in the park and one of my old friends from Mother and Baby group told me about this amazing cupcake shop in the local village of Woodhouse Eaves so of course we had to go and investigate:

Super cute just from the outside right? The inside is even better:

It's just so adorable that I couldn't help taking pictures!!! Also......so much yummy stuff everywhere.....Chick had her eye on one of these......maybe for her birthday:

Whilst I was taking pictures and trying to decide what cakes to buy I was also having a chat with the owners husband and making sure it was ok for me to take pictures. At this point I dropped my phone which bounced once, fell apart and the flew out the door. As I bent down to pick up the pieces I fell over my flip flop and out the door after the phone! Chick slunk away into a corner and tried to disown me whilst I tried to laugh it off but had to buy lots of cakes to hide my embarrassment....whoops!!! The moral of the story is that as soon as you take me somewhere nice I will make an arse of myself!!!!

How do you choose from all these lovelies??? It was a tough choice but in the end we went with plain chocolate with chocolate buttons and marshmallows and also chocolate orange! AMAZING:

The great thing about the chocolate orange is that the flavouring was in the icing and the cakes as well!!! Yum, yum, yum! Now obviously if ever you are in the neighbourhood it would be great for you to visit but if not you can order from their website http://www.kandycupcakes.co.uk/

*I haven't been compensated in any way for writing this....I just love cake :-)

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Mothers Day and being grumpy/grateful

You all know that I feel very lucky for the things I have but sometimes I want more. I want to not worry about paying every single bill. I want to be able to buy whatever I like in the weekly shopping without adding it up as I go around to make sure we aren't blowing the budget. I'd like a few more hours in each day to spend with my daughter or to take photos or to just sit and enjoy the sunshine and the flowers! I also want to snap myself out of this ridiculous mood! On Mothers Day I felt like this:

Super attractive....I know ;-) It was a combination of things that started it. All of the above, Chick's attitude, having no plans for Mothers Day. I don't know what was wrong with Chick either but she was the child from hell. She's asked me not to talk about it so all I'll say is that it ended in tears for both of us!! Not the best way to spend Mothers Day it has to be said. Once we had both had a good cry and some time out, we made friends and decided that the day wasn't completely done with and there was still just enough time to salvage it!!

Chick went off and tidied her room with a minimum of nagging, we cooked dinner together and I didn't moan when she dropped it everywhere. I let her have some down time in front of the TV and then we went for a lovely long walk along the canal to blow away the cobwebs:

Somewhere along the way we managed to find our good humour and decided that actually we did quite like each other:

Then we decided that some puddle jumping was in order!!! We may have gotten slightly damp:

The best thing about coming home wet and cold is a nice hot bath and a cup of cocoa!! With things back to normal and Chick finally quiet and in bed, I finally got chance to have a proper look at my Mothers Day present:

And now I'm back to be being grateful for being able to enjoy the small stuff!!!

Sunday, 3 April 2011

A Different Mothers Day Post!!!

I couldn't go (because I was working for a change) but I was invited to go to London on Friday to a Save the Children press conference to discuss a new report about the world's 'Missing Midwives'. Can you believe that in this day and age 48 million women (that equates to 1 in 3) around the world give birth without a midwife or any kind of assistance?

If I'm completely honest giving birth wasn't the most pleasant experience of my life and I took for granted a clean ward, trained staff and pain relief. Along with all the professionals my Mum and one of my friends were also there. It blows my mind that 1,000 women and 2,000 babies die every day from birth complications that could be easily preventable. 

There is a stark difference in the number of trained midwives available in the developing world. For instance in the UK we have over 26,000 practising midwives delivering 749,000 babies. In Rwanda there are only 46 midwives delivering 400,000 babies!! That's just crazy! The most dangerous place in the world to give birth is currently Afghanistan although thanks, in part, to Save the Children this is beginning to change. Worldwide there is a shortage of 3.5 million health workers.

Save the Children are launching this initiative as part of the 'No child born to die' campaign with some celebrity support including Natasha Kaplinsky and Stacey Solomon:

What is really needed though is the backing and funding of governments throughout the world to put Health Workers at the forefront of their plans to achieve the Millenium Development Goals and to plug the gaps in care. You can pledge your support for this campaign and join with other Mothers here so that many more women get access to the health care they need.

Lets hope that with your help the campaign makes a huge difference to the women and babies of the world. We should also be grateful this Mothers Day for what we in the Western world are lucky enough to have. I will be thanking my lucky stars that I didn't give birth alone and thinking about all the other Mum's around the world who haven't had that privilege!!

For more information about the campaign or to make a donation then please visit www.savethechildren.org.uk The report is available to read here!