Thursday 31 May 2012

Gallery Sunshine

I love the Sunshine and I particularly love sunshine holidays at the very moment I am looking at holidays brochures and biting my fingers because I love to travel. This is from  when I went To Atlantis Palm Dubai the most amazing hotel I think I have ever been to . Every where in Dubai just oozes sunshine. I love it..

My Blog #snaphappyBritmums

The relevance of age ?

 I see in the news certain stars are worrying about their age , I see comments telling them to stop being so vain etc. But some people are worried for a reason there is often a rhyme and reason for everything. Though for some people it is pure vanity but that's just life isn't it ? and if we were all the same the world would be a pretty boring place now.

 I know I am coming up for 40 this year the BIG 40  I suppose I should do a list of the things that I want to go and the places I want to go . I have been to lots of places so I really don't want to do that. I used to worry about my age , that I wasn't going to be the one that didn't have a party. Several people I know seem to be celebrating all year for various milestone birthday between them ( that's their call ).

And as I speak various friends etc are jetting off celebrating their special birthdays that were months ago to recreate that 'Sex in the City' feeling.

Withstanding the need to go get that 'Sex in the City feeling'

 But you have to remember to live your life for the here and now So I am nearly 40 but my Father in law is nearly 80  so really I can't spend the next 40 odd years worrying about my age now can I?

Rugby Country kids

Melebourne under 13's winning the NLD 

Tuesday 29 May 2012

Italian Rice with Turkey

Serves 2-4


2 tbsp olive oil
2 skinless boneless Turkey fillets or turkey pieces
1 Red onion, cut into 8 wedges
2 red peppers, halved deseeded and sliced thickly
1 garlic clove, crushed
100g long grain rice
400g can chopped tomatoes
300ml chicken stock
4tbsp ready-made pesto ) you'll find long-life jars on the shelves or more expensive fresh pots in the chiller cabinets)


1. Heat oven to 200c/fan 180c/gas mark 6. Heat the oil in a large,shallow ovenproof pan, add the turkey and cook for 3-4 mins until golden all over. remove from the pan and set aside.

Add the turkey and cook for 3-4 mins until golden all over.

Red onion.

One red onion cut into 8 wedges.

2. Add the onion and peppers, and cook for 3 mins or until light golden.

3. Tip in the garlic and fry for a min. Stir in the rice, then the tomatoes, stock and  reserved turkey. Turn up the heat and bring to the boil.

Transfer to the oven to cook at  200c/fan 180c/gas mark 6 uncovered, for 20 mins. 

Season to taste and drizzle over the Pesto before serving.
 “This post is part of the #FaveFamilyRecipes Competition with BritMums and Tilda Rice. Every pack sold will provide a meal to an expectant mum in need in support of the World Food Programme’s Mothers Helping Mothers initiative in Bangladesh.”

EcoForce Spring Cleaning review

I usually hate Spring cleaning, I'd rather have someone else do it  However as Mr T is saying we have to cut down on spending ( mine mainly) and I haven't won any cleaners either this month. So with a Diamond Jubilee party this weekend spring cleaning is in order! 
Over the last few years I been using greener products and J is allergic to some of the non green cleaners . It makes sense kind to the environment kind to the skin. Mr T was also tapping his wallet (in a money saving expert sort of way sadly!) So we ( Mr T in particular was delighted when we were offered these products for review)

Why dip your hands in hot soapy [or grimy for that matter] dishwater, instead use the Dishmatic fillable washing up sponge scourer which comes with a replaceable head. With this nifty gadget you can dispense the washing liquid as you need it ( or rather it did Mr T) it kept him amused for hours

I thought the pegs were going to be delicate and stamp at the weigh of my duvet and sheets
  Being recycled, I had this idea the plastic would be flimsy and may not hold the weight of say a double duvet cover or large bath sheet. So I was pleasantly surprised to find the the pegs have a strong grip, the plastic is sturdy and the design does not mark the clothes as much which is good as you don't want peg marks in the wrong place.. 

They come in a packet of pegs or nicely stored in a peg basket.

These pegs can battle the force of a hurricane !

EcoForce Kitchen Scourer pads

The scourers are prefect for doing battle with that built up grim around the cooker! Mr T says perfect for me as  I tend to do remote control cooking ( I don't watch the pan)
EcoForce Recycled dusters.

Dusting in preparation of my Diamond Jubilee party!

Dusters another of life's necessities this pack of 10 is great used wet or dry these though as well as polishing and dusting glass, mirrors, furniture, car interiors wood and shoes they don't contribute to landfill saves energy, allows crop land to be used for food production.

So you have had a look at what EcoForce are doing to help clean up the house and they have teamed with me to offer a chance for one of you to clean up with a brilliant prize. In fact a whole year of cleaning products. EcoForce green cleaning goodies worth £50 
Keep an eye out for the competition coming soon.

EcoForce is an everyday, practical range of household products  made from recycled materials and comprises recycled kitchen sponges, scourers, cloths and dusters for all your green cleaning requirements, recycled pegs,  peg basket and clothes line for eco-friendly laundry drying and recycled food bag grips for storing left overs.    

EcoForce's award winning products do
not  compromise on quality or price and offer an ethical choice when it comes to buying household goods.   All products are made from at least 90% recycled  waste here in the UK.
Recycled products are just as good, if not better, than alternatives made from virgin materials yet don't harm the

So make Ecoforce part of your spring cleaining home makeover

EcoForce is available in Sainsbury, Tesco, Morrisons, Oxfam, B and Q, Homebase and Ocado on line.

Monday 28 May 2012

A good diet is not cake !

I still haven't got the battery for my scales  *Sigh* but what I have come to realise a good diet is not cake is I have to resist the temptation of cake which is easier said than done as I work in a school. Its someones birthday or celebration every other week.And then there was my good friends Di ironing party and there was cake , I nearly thought my good diet out of the window until I remember a good trick someone taught me a few years ago ( this will not work for everyone  ). The trick is to visualise the cake as something horrible I won't tell you what I think of as I don't want to you off your food*Ironic*

But you could imagine say for you that if you pick that cake up you would in fact be eating a slug! I am sure by now you get the picture of what I am trying to achieve.

The second thing I have started doing is taking more exercise such as cycling to work and using to weights to get rid of my bingo wings! I lost a shed lot of weight when I was 18 and I am determined to get back to nearly what I was then.  As I approach 40 with break neck speed I want to be fab at 40 not in a cougar manner ! I hasten to add! But I want to feel right about my self again which I am sure is something I can do!

Friday 25 May 2012

Something Old #snaphappyBritmums

An Olympic Meme

The Rules

"Here's how to join in... simply write your own blog post answering the Olympic questions below and then  tag other bloggers to join in and share their answers.  Don't forget to share the love with links to the lovely bloggers you are tagging and back to me if you are feeling generous!"

So thanks to Wendy for tagging me in this !

So here goes...

1)   If every day tasks were Olympic events what would you get a gold medal in?
At the moment cleaning up after messy chickens and childrens sick!!  

2)   As a child (or now even) did you excel at a particular sport and if so which one?
I excelled in cross country running .  I was constantly the last one pick for rounders and everyone groaned if I was in their team. I did hold the 100  m record at Middle school for running the 100m in 16 seconds ( eat your heart out Ussain Bolt) .  I lost my Pe skirt at Secondary school my mum was too tight to buy me another so I had to do all my Pe in my blue Pe Bukta ( Pe knickers )  And as I couldn't swim I never did make the school rowing team.

3)   Michael Phelps (swimmer) or Michael Johnson (runner) - which sport appeals to you more?
 Running appeals to me more. I am quite expert at sniffing out a bargain also and running to the tills!

4)   How fast can you get out of bed and ready to go out the door if miss the alarm and sleep in?
I get up at 6.30 am with my husband and play the dutiful wife getting him his breakfast and preparing his sandwiches .... This would be the case if I was indeed a Stepford wife.

5)   What fantasy sport would you like to see made into an Olympic event?
Iroining .. Exteme ironing 

6)   Claim to fame time - Have you ever met an Olympian and who was it?
I ran with Paula Radcliffe at Bedford running club I say ran  with in a loose term . She ran miles in front of me and never ever spoke to me .. She was even as a teenager too famous to speak to me !
I also met Mark Todd an Olympic rider at Blenheim horse trials it was part of the prize to met him. ( I am slightly allergic to horses though I do like them )

Me and my family meeting Olympic champion Mark Todd
Mark Todd is hoping to compete in this years Olympics though his horse 'Land Vision' has been rules out with an injury so he may ride his other horse 10-year-old NZB Campino in London.

7)   What event in past Olympics can you remember most vividly?
I remember Daley Thompson with his Decathalon gold medal and there going out to buy Daley Thompson super test and bashing the hell out of my spectrum 48k!

8)   Tuning in at home, not for me or tickets clamped ready in sweaty palms?
Tuning in a home.. I will watch it all no doubt. Last time I was in America for the Olympics and it seemed no country was taking part apart from the Good Old USA. I would have loved tickets for the 100m final. My sons school is going to the Olumpics but to some very obscure events so he declinded on that one.

9)   Who do you think most deserves a gold medal (any walk of life not just Olympians)
That's easy I would nominate my family as they keep me grounded .... well most of the time anyway!

Tag away and carry the meme on like an Olympic torch!!

I am off to tag Alison  and  Cathy 

Wednesday 23 May 2012

Picture Postcard 23/5/2012

Central Park New York Ice Rink

 I love New York it is one of my favourite cities a magical place I saw the film Home Alone 2 Lost in New York and took my child to see the place. No I didn't leave my child alone in New York like Macaulay  Culkin!

Sloppy Joes Burgers

Sloppy Joe Burger an American favourite if you don't like mince beef why not try mince turkey instead or perhaps Quorn? .

 The trick to this recipe is to brown the meat well, on high heat. Don't crow the pan , work in batches and don't stir the meat until it is well browned on one side. It helps to use a large cast iron pan, or an anodised pan, as these pans can handle the heat and are relatively stick-free.


1Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup minced carrots or sweet pepper
1 cup chopped onion ( about 1 medium onion)
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 gloves garlic,minced
1 1/4lb ground beef(mince)
1/2 cup tomato sauce
( or 1 15 once can whole tomatoes, pureed)
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp brown sugar
Pinch ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
Pinch cayenne pepper
2 turns of freshly ground pepper
4 hamburger buns


1. heat love oil in a large sautee pan on medium high heat. Add the carrots and sate for 5 minutes. ( If you are using peppers instead of carrots, add those at the same time as the onions .) Add the chopped onion and celery.
Cook. stirring occasionally until onions are translucent, about 5 more minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook for 30 more seconds. remove from heat. remove vegetables from the pan to a medium sized bowl, set aside.

2. using the same pan ( or you can cook the meat at the same time as the vegetables in a separate pan to save time), generously salt the bottom of the pan ( about 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon).
heat the pan on high. Crumble the ground beef into the pan. You likely need to do this in two batches, otherwise you will crowd the pan and the beef won't easily brown. Do not stir the ground beef, just let it cook until it is well browned on one side. Then flip the pieces over and brown the second side. Use a slotted spoon to remove the ground beef from the pan ( can dd to the set- aside vegetables), salt the pan again and repeat with the rest of the ground beef. If you are using extra lean beef you will likely not have any excess fat in the pan, if you are using 16% or higher, you may have excess fat. Strain of all but 1 tablespoon of the fat.

3. Return the cooked ground beef and vegetables to the pan. Add the ketchup, tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar and brown sugar to the pan. Stir to mix well. Add ground cloves. thyme, and cayenne pepper. Lower the heat to medium low and let simmer for 10 minutes. Adjust seasonings to taste.

Tuesday 22 May 2012

Something that begins with an A #SnaphappyBritmums

I used this picture before for smooth but its also good for A for Apple ! as it wasa taken in the Big Apple of New York .= when it was Macy's Parade.

Monday 21 May 2012

Music #snaphappyBritmums

Magpie Monday Mabel Lucie Atwell The rescue of Wendy by Peter Pan

   J.M Barrie's Peter pan is a favourite book of mine , so as I was on one of my regular Charity Shops rumbles I found this an original 1935 print from when Mabel Lucie Atwell illustrated Peter Pan .

Peter Pan rescuing Wendy Illustration by by Mabel Lucie Atwell

Atwell was born in Mile End, London, 4 June 1879

Mabel Lucie Attwell's  career started with  magazine illustration, which she continued throughout her life, but around 1900 she began receiving commissions for book illustration, notably for W & R Chambers and the Raphael House Library of Gift Books. She illustrated children's classics such as Mother Goose (1910), Alice in Wonderland (1911), Hans Andersen's Fairy Tales(1914), The Water Babies by Charles Kingsley (1915), and Peter Pan and Wendy by J.M. Barrie. Attwell contributed illustrations to popular periodicals such as The Tatler, The Bystander, Graphic, and The Illustrated London News. She produced advertising illustrations for clients such as Vim (cleaning product), and illustrated greeting cards as well.

Mabel Lucie is best known for the cute & cheeky toddler pictures

I am very happy to have this hanging in my hall way its the first thing I see on my way in and the last thing I see on my way out.

And the best part of it all is was only £4.99 framed what a bargain.

Peter Pan rescuing Wendy Illustration by Mabel Lucie Atwell

Three chickens and a bra and a teenager

My week has been quite, quite bizarre. Last Friday I was a chicken pooper scooper  , a chicken came to visit my school not on its own of course but with its owner. Any way as I entered the classroom it left a little message, so I go as directed to clean it up however armed with mop, bucket and carpet cleaner. However after cleaning that up I heard it had repeated its shame in another classroom so off I go to repeating the cleaning procedure.

Whilst on my way to return all the cleaning items I popped into the last classroom and said

" I was just wondering if the chicken had left a little present "

The chicken at this point was being held by its owner and turned to be a looking at me with only as a chicken can look with a beady eye. It left a little message > SIGH<

So that was part of my Friday afternoon then came Sunday ......

After going to the quintessential game of  village cricket to watch my son play we came home. My son left his mobile on the side, I picked it up and saw the post interesting of wallpapers. It was SHOCK HORROR a lady in her bra and knickers >>>> FAINT

I said " What's this doing on your phone  then ?"

>>Stunned Silence<<<

"I am waiting " I said my voice gilded with parental concern ...

"Well I am 13!" he replied.

" I am 13 just doesn't cut it mate" I said shaking my head.

I then launched into we don't save things we see like that on our phones as wall papers. And we certainly don't get tagged or like such images as we don't know where they have come from. ( I was at this point wearing my safe guarding children hat )

 I fear  in some way I may be to blame or its one hell of a coincidence as when I came back from Cybher I left my bra catalogues all around the house.

So its is rather funny but it is also slightly worrying as well it might be boys will be boys but guidance is still needed at this age.

Friday 18 May 2012

Todays weather is #snaphappybritmums

Britmums Live !!

Why do I want to go  ?

Going to Britmums

 I could launch in to an all out soppy , gushing account of each and every speaker and brand that is going to be there  but you know what I am know for me going to Britmums would be more about a journey of self discovery. Not the sort of self discovery that has you mediating and finding your inner peace !

It's not about the meditation!

It's not about the cake either !

mmm Cheesecake

It's not about the wine  *nods well just a bit*


It's not about making a (ladies upper bits) of yourself!

Its about showing of the new found confidance I have in blogging and in myself which I have found through blogging. And I have to add I have found some fabulous new friends too.

So I am hoping that going to Britmums for me will  ....

This quote comes from the great Lucien Freud " What do I ask of a painting ? I ask it to astonish disturb , seduce, convince. "

So I hope that Britmums Live! will astonish me with their speakers and know how.

 I hope they will disturb me- to write better blog posts.

 I hope they will seduce me into blogging posts that I dare not try.

 And I hope they will convince me that have a glass of wine !

Thursday 17 May 2012

London a Snap shot

After the fabulous event that was Cybher I decided to have a stroll around London . I cramped everything into my little suitcase it was over flowing with business cards and other glorious goodies. It was a mere £2.00 to leave my case there , it was money I thought well spend as I didn't have to lug my case around London. And I don't think people would have like getting run over at the Lucien Freud exhibition I went too or the Punch and Judy show I went to afterwards. These  are some of the pictures I took on my way to the National Portrait Gallery to see The Lucien Freud Exhibition.

St Martin's in the field

K9 Telephone box.

British K9 telephone box

Some people practicing  Falun Dafa.

The art of Falun Dafa.


Boots #SnapHAppyBritMums

Wednesday 16 May 2012

Smooth #SnappyHappyBritmums

Organising a teenagers room

It's a hard task organising a teenagers room  they've outgrown their childish things though if you look teddy is still hiding their in the cupboard awwwh. So even though your little  huge tall darling is growing up fret not.

 As a child said to me " You are still a child yourself as you have a mum " so true !

A Chelsea boys bedroom 
So you go from that to this.

A Gaming beanbag

Keep Calm and Carry on

Tuesday 15 May 2012

Covent Garden Punch and Judy Show

Covent Garden 

There was a celebration going on in Covent Garden  last Sunday the 13th may it was a celebration of 350 years of Punch and  Judy. I am drawn to Convent Garden I visit there time and time again when I am in London. And I am nervous of crowds really so Convent Garden seem a odd choice for someone who is nervous of crowds.

Long a staple of British seaside entertainment, the characters from the Punch and Judy puppet show are also linked to the centre of London. Samuel Pepys mentioned the puppet show taking place in Covent Garden back in 1662 and since then the market area has been the spiritual home of the terribly behaved menace to society. The tale of his misdemeanours, 
gruesome antics and occasional murders have delighted children and adults! ever since.

 Punch and Judy puppet show

The church yard of St Paul's was bough alive with shows from around the world there was an incredible array of interpretation on this story. There is always heckling at a Punch and Judy event .. not much different from the Houses of Commons then !

 Maypole dancing

As well as the short puppet shows I immerse myself by watching  maypole dancing, live music The church was open for those who wanted to go in it. The weather was glorious,and it was a beautiful way to spend an afternoon, comparing the different ways the same story can be interpreted by the 'professors' (puppeteers).

Early Jubilee fun

A very handy man

"Let's shake on it!"

The photographer laying down a challenge

Sadly the Pirate got annoyed and shot the photographer ( not really)

You are having a giraffe