Friday, 30 October 2015

Throwing The Baby Bird Out The Nest

It's finally happened.

My teen has a better social life than me ~ in fact they've a better social / work life balance than me.

Awesome parenting I put it down to and perhaps old fashioned rules.

For example he's only seen the podcast talks on Game of Thrones on YouTube his YouTube is restricted . However now he's 17 he been given the option to watch Game of Thrones.

You see it's a good cop / bad cop parenting situation ~ I'm the only female in the house even the cats are male. Mrs Robinson has tried to strangle me on numerous occasions ~ Mrs Robinson is the car ,Mrs Robinson loves my husband but hates me . She has tried to strangle me with the seat belt.

Parenting is like trying to throw the baby bird out the nest.

I'm the one that dropped him crying at beavers and made myself and my husband run away , tough love but with a care .

After all those years of saying 

" put your coat on "

He's brought one with his own money a trendy wool one from Zara.

And that's it he's out on his own into town during the day with friends and he's a quiet like me.

Friends make you , he feels part of something it taken a long time .

But I was part of that . My husband was part of that. Our family is part of that guidance.



Wednesday, 28 October 2015

The Friendly Introvert

We've become offended over what we control.

Fair play to Princess Leia if she can ( pardon my French kick a s s while wearing a bikini.)


I played all characters when I played Star Wars it was fun , I think I was always in control of myself as a child to a certain extent but I think my confidence did take a knock later on in life. I remember playing Snow White when I was 5 ( typecasting I am sure ) as I had bobbed hair  I gave a rousing performance , but when it came to that kiss I lifted my legs and pushed the boy away going "I don't think so  "


Described as a Tom boy ~ it was the 70's it was ok then.


Now it is empowerment.

Being equal on a equal stage.



Introvert empowerment as we are seen as still under represented in certain areas , there is never an even split in life but that doesn't stop us striving putting our stamp on the world . It doesn't matter who it is we should all strive and my confidence is growing but not with real life people but with on line friends odd but that in turn will give me confidence in the real world.


At school I aligned myself with the geeks , the computer crowd the role playing gamers and they were / are some of the best friends I had /have. And having friends is very important I have choice friends who really get me and my humour and my humour is a patch ( I was going to say for my insecurities but being a friendly introvert isn't an insecurity it is a super power )


Yes I am an introvert and I am proud of it.


An introvert can have and will have dreams.

I'm a friendly introvert.

That's ok.

I'll look for exits if I'm in company but that's ok as I'm the friendly introvert.

I am an introvert and my name is Claire.


If you speak to me I most likely won't take a compliment and an criticism depending on how it is dealt out will see me crumble like a deck of cards, it's not that I don't like compliments but is the inability to handle them . Somehow if I accept a compliment I feel I don't deserve it and will battle against it adding in a put down to myself.


I was at my son's rugby games and one of the boys was complimented by the coach on his game , the boy then went on to say but I didn't do this I could of done this that and the other


The coach said "Just take the compliment "


This is something we should all do more of take the compliment I am going to try and do this .




Kind Regards

The friendly introvert

P.s Is that ok ?

PPS Are you sure ?

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Black Cat Day

I've a black cat when Jack was a kitten he was the devil , you walked into a room to look got him and you'd look to find a kitten swinging on the curtains like Tarzen. He's dependable , solid like a tank but when he plays you have to fetch his toys , he comes in through the cat flap but leaves via the front door.


He's Jack.


He's Jack Black.

Likes this cat food one minute then he doesn't , likes being fed treat by my husband only, thinks he's a parrot.




He's Jack.


He's Jack Black.


You can play cat toy buckeroo with him. You have to check boxes before you recycle them.






Jack will warm the bed for you .



Jack is black , Jack is Jack Black.

Jack is family.

Monday, 26 October 2015

Washington D.C Metro

This August saw us going to Washington D.C as a family previously all the places we had travelled to we had somehow avoided travelling on their equivalent of the underground . Who knows why I suspect it's down to my husband wanting to see the lie of the land and saving pennies, hence when we went to New York we walked every where. In fact the last time we used any type of subterranean transportation abroad was when we went to romantic Paris 25 years ago , and that was every bit as romantic as I hoped it would be.



I thought the architecture of the Metro in Washington was quite reminsistic of brutalist architecture it was if the South Bank of London had indeed seem in the veins of the transport system. I loved it where as Mr T couldn't see the beauty of it but we all see the world differently which just shows us how amazing us human beings are.



As Washington D.C is very vast and especially hot in summer you'll be glad to get out the heat.



I'm looking to exploring the underground transport systems of other countries, you can learn so much from a country s underground.

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Saturday Caption Day The Cat Edition



You'll have seen this before as Jack is rather an expressive cat obsessed with cake , ice cream and yogurt. Anything you consume of that nature will be met with this look. Cats are so very expressive and very funny , pretty sure my family would have a dog. However I prefer cats having had cats since childhood and I did have one cat called Boots ( not name after the Chemist) who was was very much like a dog. Nope we aren't getting one either I can't be fussed with the walking etc etc . I'm a cat person through and through.

My ultimate cat breed would be a Sianese which I think are awfully noisy but I work in an Infant School so noise is par for the course.




Friday, 23 October 2015

Friend ,Friends, Friendship

I'm sitting here as the last rays of light hit the roof tops as Autumn rolls in the dark nights leaves strewn all about



seeing the sky melt away into a midnight galaxy of stars strewn quilt.


Thinking of friends , past present and future.


Grateful for what I have , grateful for what I had grateful of yet to come.




Friends or friend it is the number that doesn't matter.


It is being part of the fabric knowing you are being.



Thursday, 22 October 2015

Phillips Viva Collection Compact Juicer

I was offered the opportunity review a Phillips  Viva Collection Compact juicer which was a very refreshing opportunity , I'll be honest I have never used a juicer before in my life. I have seen them being used I was intrigued the other year when I was a Champney's Spa in Hampshire and I was in their cafe watching the industrial juicer being used. The juicer is as the name suggest compact and indeed doesn't really take up any space , this is a juicer that is perfect for one or a couple , indeed a family if only a couple of people want to use it.



The juicer performs extremely well : and there was no bits in any other the juices that I tried , it whizz through the ingredients with absolutely no trouble. Juicers do have a reputation for being hard to clean but this one is quick to clean, so you 'll be juicing drinking have no worries about a nightmare clean ( as this isn't). This juicer is easy to take apart then put part together again after you have cleaned it.



There are a couple of downsides to the juicer nothing major , as the juicer is compact the feeding tube isn't very big resulting in you having to chop up the fruit or vegetables a bit more. SO if you going to be juicing a lot of apples or beetroots you are going to have to do a little bit more chopping than you might of expected to.

The juicer can contain 1.5 litres of juice before the pulp container becomes full, included is a 500 ml jug so it will of course fill three of these. There are so many juice combinations you will easily find recipes on websites and on apps etc.


You will have to peel the fruit before you put it in but this is a small I convince for refreshing juice at the end of the day. The instructions will clearly telly you what you can't put in it fibrous fruit for example like a banana.


I enjoyed using the juicer and can't wait to see the what difference it makes to my health as I am a devil for not eating much fruit sometimes.





Disclosure I was sent this for review all opinions are honest and my own.








Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Spiced Tea Chocolate Egg Free Cake





It 8.33 and I am bored and the dust is collecting on the shelves I simply must dust but instead I am gripped by the need the absolute need to bake a cake. I can bake cakes if there are square or in a loaf tin and one day ( been saying this for years I will bake my nemesis ) the Victoria Sponge.



Ingredients


Preheat the oven to

2 cups of plain flour = 240 grams I believe

1 bottle of sweet tea or iced tea ( mine was spiced )


1 cup of drinking chocolate = 120 grams

2 teaspoons of baking powder.

1 cup of coconut sugar = 120grams or adjust caster sugar to needs



Method

It would be a good idea to sieve the flour in.


After which just plonk everything together.


Having greased a 21lb loaf tin.

Spoon the mixture in .


Bake on 180c for 40 minutes . Do the knife test to check it's cooked all the way through.


You could omit some tea drink and add a little oil if concerned about moistness.

The icing comes pre made from the co op and is salted caramel.

Monday, 19 October 2015

Green's Lemon Cup Cake mix


Well here it is the Green's Cupcake mix note the word 'EASY' in the corner. A sure indication I could do no wrong.

Yes I should have added the mix first.

Surely it couldn't continue to go wrong for me could it?


I used a spoon to mix it together though I think a electric whisk would have served me better. i spooned the mixture in the cupcake cases and waited 12 minutes till they were ready. I eagerly opened the oven to bouncy cupcakes....



On reflection i really should have put the cases in a cake tin as well. Well the frosting couldn't go wrong as well could it?


Taaaaaaa Dahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh Cupcakes with swirled butter icing.

The sponge was lovely, the middle was esquisate I just should have followed the instructons more carefully.


RRP : £2.15




( Disclosure I was sent this mixture to try... Sorry Green's ) I promise to go buy the Strawberry one to redeem myself.)

Goodness Gracious Great Meatballs Meatloaf

I was getting rather bored of just meatballs with this that or the other I felt I was going round and round in circles with them, but then I was struck by a light of culinary genius . I thought why not combine the meatballs with the stuffing , I was going to add some sausage meat but some helpful person who shall remain nameless put them in the freezer i.e. the husband.






Ingredients

Meatball

Packet of stuffing ( I used Quixo from Aldi )

Cup of water

2 Tbsp of barbecue sauce.

1 egg


Method

Preheat the oven to 160 c

Grease a 2lb loaf tin

In a bowl squish togteher all the meat balls

Next tip in the stuffing.

Add add 1 tbsp  barbecue sauce.

Give a heart mix anything and place with the greases loaf tin.


Press down and place in the oven for an hour * allow for your oven






The meatloaf was very 

Disclosure Thank to Aldi for giving me the shopping vouchers for this , and thanks to to the husband who forgot the sausages in the freezer. And the cat just sat in his shoe box doing nothing as per usual.



Friday, 16 October 2015

Taking My Leaf From Knitting Club





I thought I'd play hookey from knitting club and have a rustle in the leaves and clear my head , I still having got over my knitting rage ( I'm struggling with my knitting ) . I'm sure when I return to knitting club I'll have my new knitting needles , I've never been overly crafty but I'm jolly well having a go. Soon it will be half term ( big cheers , lets off fireworks and drinks wine )



My walk home from school took me to the nature reserve then into the woods , I want to say deep dark woods but they were glowing with leaves of fire. Up the leaf strewn steps , to the patchwork carpet of gold , copper , yellow orange Ooooh the colours.



Not your usual walk but I not like the ordinary , I'll go out of my way to add a jingle and a jangle to my day. I live near the countryside and you'll see how much I love the outdoors from my Instagram.





After a hearty walk and knowing my son would be heading off to rugby training then I thought a good meal was in order , luckily Aldi had sent me some vouchers to try some of their range. I decided that tonight we would try their Beef Wellington priced at £9.99 , neither myself or my son are ones for pastry but this Beef Wellington pastry was another matter.





An empty plate says it all really doesn't it now?!



I have to say the Beef Wellington isn't one of those frozen meals you think oh no on it is geuinally worth the £9.99 and the actually beef doesn't taste cheap ether it is literally melt in the mouth.


Disclosure~ Nature provided the spectacular Autumn, Aldi kindly provided me with some vouchers to try some of their range .

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

The 5 Am Club

It's 5 Am

No one should be up .

Unless you are a baby with a milk dependancy habit.

Or your a baby you just likes to wake people.

May be you had a weird dream about a spider that turned into a T - Rex ( or yes that will be me)

Twitter seems an endless stream of auto tweets , vintage post, Easter you name it and you feel alone and lost.

Alone and lost is how I feel a lot of the time , feeling I am not quite good enough when I know I am , and Twitter has been my lifeline when I down . It is not in any shape of form a validation to what I am going through , what I continue to go through . As they say

"Don't judge anyone endless you can walk a mile in their shoes "

I don't wear heels so you might get further than a mile, I am better than I was but I still feel a core of loneliness and I do have some very good friends.  I am not a natural when it comes to things and planning any task can and will take a great deal of mental energy.


I find that Twitter and indeed Facebook can be a blessing and at the same time a curse but more of a blessing nowadays , and I am looking forward after the horror of last year , which I wouldn't wish what happened to me on anyone. And when I am in need there is someone to help me and likewise I help them I love how the universe works.


Empathy that is those with depression and anxiety , indeed any mental health issue.


Remember mental illness is not a sport it is not who has what worse.



What do I want for the future a better camera for my photography when that I can call my own, also a new phone with a better camera. At some point I will be getting a bicycle a Pashley which i will cycle every where , every where it won't get stolen.


And a Spa trip I am desperate to visit a Spa again with my good friend , I really love Spas it is my world away from the business of life and I end up feeling so refreshed it is wonderful.


I think a Spa trip should be available on the national health but that is a pipe dream and I will have to make do with my foot spa ( core living it up )


So if you see any SPA comps do tell me , or if you have a Spa you'd like me to review along with my friend ( obviously I would to be reviewing my friend ) I mean I would have to take my friend alone to   a Spa.


I just wish my forever friend lived a little closer.

But I still have you lovely lot on social media.



Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Something From Nothing Tuna Cous Cous Cakes

There are days when you just stare into your fridge or freezer for inspiration hoping beyond all hopes that inspiration hits you in the face or perhaps a chef will leap out and save the day.


Ingredients

Can of tuna drained

225g of cous cous

2 eggs to bind

You could perhaps add some left over mashed potato if you had any.




Optional tweeting your picture of your finished product to Phil Vickery and then in turn him rting it , who says you can't dine out on a story ???



Update : I have yet to dine out on this story 

But what a top bloke Phil Vickery is !! thanks for the RT .


Method

Preheat the oven to 180 c

Hydrate the cous cous in your normal way.


Drain and add the can of tuna.


Next mix with the cous cous and add the 2 egg to bind, as if you only use one egg you 'll find the picture gets too crumbly.

Grease a baking tray other wise you'll be chiselling these off the tray other wise.

I shaped mine with spoons as if I was a Morris dancing waving what ever Morris dancers wave.


Then the flatten  a tad.

Placed them on the baking tray and baked for around 20 minutes but keep at eye on the oven you might need slightly less time according to your oven.



Then let cool down .


And you are ready .




Sunday, 11 October 2015

From Chimney Pots To Copper Tops

Take time to catch the patchwork leaves



From chimney pots to copper tops


Take time to dip into Autumn gold with me 



The opportunity to see the niceness in people



When the veil of fog lifts from your soul


Branches bow in a regal show



Every tree  is Royal no common bough here


The crinkly carpet crunches under foot


And the breezes whistles past your ears




Soap Box Rules

I was typing this and my whole post just disappeared which is a trifle annoying and I didn't alert you on Facebook or Twitter. Instead I'm telling you here in this blog post , gosh what a pickle.

We stress our /out opinions on our various social media channels, some of it looks like an attack from certain angles as if people have got a fly in their social media ice cream. I'm all for debate , debate is indeed good and healthy.  We tell the world how we are feeling at times it can feel as if people are dictating their views across.

Why oh people do people feel the need to attack others in thinly veiled ways , balance and constructive words are set aside as the soap box is pulled away and smothers other opinions.  Just an obversation after all I have been watching Disney films empowering myself , amazing how the little things count. If you stop stressing just worry about you and not what opportunities other people have got then the world is a far better please.

Coconut water I've tried it twice and formed my opinion but one day there might might be a coconut water I like , open minded is how I try to be though the stuff tastes like sweaty flip flops. There I'll get off my soap box for now before someone pushes me off it.


Just relax 



Thursday, 8 October 2015

Ways My Cat is Rubbish At Hide And Seek

My cat has a new hobby no longer is he dragging a zebra though the cat flap after stalking the plains of the endless plains of the Serengeti  my lawn needs cutting but that sounds oh so much majestic and magical doesn't it.We demand to be amused by our pets like Roman Emperors of old , the ways they do get all the more inventive and clever , more clever than is unless you are my cat.


1 . My cat Jack will attempt to hide in the bed but as it is so rubbish at hide and seek it leaves its little paws sticking out , now even when I have not got my glasses on I can spot an intruder in my bed .



2. Jack will hide under the footstool and yet will leave his tail hiding trailing out , I have sat and explained to him the rules of hide and seek and his seemed to understand. He did what all cats do which was to head bump me then walk off lift his leg in the air showing: he has no airs and graces , along with the fact then he is sure something is missing , he is not sure what when it was there once.




STOP press I told my cat I was typing up a post about him and which point he promptly threw up , I screamed as I thought it was a whole mouse but no he had supplemented his diet with a slug!

3. He will hide on the stairs no in the day find this is not a problem, however if you decide to chance the stairs in dim light without switching in the landing light then you're doomed.

4. Hiding under the fringe of the duvet , I know he's rubbish at hiding but I don't tell him I am mindful of his feelings.


5. Hiding on boxes 


Monday, 5 October 2015

Win A Sensory Miffy

Miffy’s Adventures: Big and Small started on Tiny Pop on 2 October 2015, at 7pm and will consist of seven minute long episodes which see Miffy and her friends exploring the exciting world around her.







Everyone loves Miffy the cute bunny who is celebrating a special birthday also , would you believe Miffy is 60 years old ?!




Featuring the iconic white bunny from the storybooks by Dick Bruna, the new series marks the first time Miffy has been seen in CGI.

The series will comprise of  52 seven minute long episodes which see Miffy and her friends exploring the exciting world around her. Simple narrative and fun songs ensure even the youngest children and the parents stay engaged throughout.

Using Dick Bruna’s distinctive palate of bright primary colours and simple shapes, combined with plenty of space around them for a child’s imagination to roam, ‘Miffy’s Adventures Big and Small’ encapsulates the essence of Bruna’s classic books whilst bringing his characters to life on screen.

Miffy’s new series will become a key part of Tiny Pop’s evening block, Cuddle Time, which features gentle programming allowing kids, mums and dads to enjoy calmer family favourites before bedtime. Tiny Pop has the strongest evening viewing figures in the kids’ category, from 7pm-midnight and will broadcast Mike the Knight, My Little Pony and Miffy from October as part of their autumn schedule.


I am pleased to say I have a competition where you can win your very own sensory Miffy.




Just follow the Rafflecopter below and Good luck. The competition ends on the 24th of October.

Make sure you catch Miffy tonight at 7pm ! on TinyPop Tv !

What adventure would Miffy get up to in your household ?




a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Niceness It's The New Epidemic





Niceness

Being as nice as pie.

I'm not talking Mother Teresa nice.

I'm talking about  just being nice and such was the news report I saw on T.V the other day where someone shamelessly fat shamed a man who was dancing. His story went viral and he went to America where he had some amazing experiences. 


Every day simplicities can and do involve niceness take what I did the other day , when walking home I saw a school cardigan I checked the label and I recognised the name written on the label . I knew where they lived I knocked on the door no one was in so I posted it through the letter box. Not much in the scheme of things simple you might say but nice , these are the small and nice gestures that make the world go around and tick over smoothly.

Yesterday  I held the door open for someone but they didn't say thank you !. Tonight saw we going to get a shed load of sausages for rugby ! After we cleared Sainburys of all their sausage rolls I went into home base to get some paint for my ensuite . This is because I had to have my toilet replaced then the nasty carpet was cut into ... Any way when we were queueing up to pay for the paint another till became available so we moved to that . Trouble was that the lady in front of us made such a hullabaloo, we just said " no you go " to which she did . When she came to pay she couldn't find her payment card  despite rooting around for it and swearing blind she has had it . So she paid cash now if this was me not having my debit card the world would be ending and everyone would know it.

Then my husband spied a card on the till surface where she has previously been standing, so I went over and saw that the huffy puffy lady had left her card behind. I saw the card picked it up but the lady had left the store so I legged it out whereupon I found her loading her car and gave her card back to her. She thanked me but was not wildly enthusiastic , I'm now saying you have to grade niceness but after I have sprinted quicker than an asthmatic I would like a smile at least with my thank you.

Today the niceness was that very British of joining a queue that wasn't a queue behind some people then said people realising that there was a stream of people behind them . Then the the "oh we're not in the queue sorry " to which everyone replies " that's ok no worries " all this takes time no one cares we're all being nice .

Niceness it's the new endemic you know.

Niceness doesn't dictate you should comment on this either ... ;-)


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