Wednesday 30 January 2013

Orlando must do preparations and planning !

I am off to Orlando ,Florida soon  well August in fact though I have been there three times before  * seem a bit of a show off don't ! Anyway even though I have been there three times before and done the parks and several times and other attractions these were done at various parts of our family life. I do believe that each time you go it is magical.

 It been five years since we were last there so this has allowed Orlando, Florida to get bigger and better as that what Orlando,Florida does.

Florida theme parks get bigger and better.

One of the first things is finding my American Currency as we find it fun is tracking good old George Washington , I suspect you are a little puzzled at this stage in proceedings.Where's George? is a website that tracks the natural geographic circulation of American paper money. I know there will be though who scream you don't deface money but quite frankly the American Secret Service have better things to do .

I shall always be brushing up on the visa regulations which again have changed since I have gone when I last went you filled out the visa waver form on the plane

Looking around for the best travel policy

Checking out the prices on light weight suitcase I don't want to get stung like I did last times when we seemed to bring back the entire contents of the Disney toy shop.

I will also make sure that my big big handbag is clear and this doesn't count with the hand luggage allowance and you'll be amazed what you can shove fit in there untidily neatly.  I will be packing a set of clothes in every ones hand luggage as havens forbid the plane is delayed and I'll have nothing to wear excepting a grinning Mickey Mouse T-shirt circa 2008.

Start buying clothes and packing them I am a stickler for getting my case organised.

Order the photo service from Disney I picked this tip up from as most of my previous Disney pictures went  up in a puff of smoke and this made me very sad as they won't backed up in any way and least this time I will have our memories backed up on a CD and on my separate storage device.

Having fun in Orlando Florida

I also must start my Theme park planning  as so much as changed such I was there 5 years ago .. We really want to go to Universal Studies and see the New Harry Potter World.

I have friends who are going with young children this year as my child is not so little now you can pick up some great tips on how to cope with Disney with little kids here 

It's always best to plan what you'd like to do in Orlando, so I find its so helpful to look at these tips for help it makes my time in Orlando so much more time worthy.

Tuesday 29 January 2013

Middle Eastern Lamb & Quinoa Patties

"Most of us know it's important to eat at least five portions of fruit and veg every day, but what many of us don't know is that we should be eating more wholegrain to keep us healthy too. Nutritionists around the world encourage eating at least three servings of wholegrain a day. But despite the nutritional benefits, national surveys show that 95% of UK adults fail to reach three servings a day. In fact, on average, most of us don't even eat that in a week, and almost a third of us don't eat any at all. To help us inspire mums to get more nutritious wholegrain into their family's diet, take part in our wholegrain challenge & tell us what you think."

I am part of the Mumsnet challenge to introduce more wholegrain in my families diet, at first I thought this was only really possible by eating a shed load of cereal and wholemeal bread sandwiches. But I was quickly proved wrong when I glanced at their recipes booklet and look at their website.

I decided to try this recipe on my family , I though there's no way a fussy teen is going to eat that.. again I was proved wrong.

Middle Eastern Lamb & Quinoa Patties

Prep time: 25 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes



100g Quinoa

400g Lean minced Lamb
1 tbsp tomato paste
2tsp Harissa paste
25g toasted pine nuts
1tbsp rapeseed oil

To serve;

4 wholemeal pitta, toasted


1. Place the quinoa and 300ml cold water in a saucepan, bring to the boil and simmer gently for 20 minutes until the water has been adsorbed. Allow to cool slightly.

2. Meanwhile, mix together the lamb, Harissa , tomato paste and pine nuts.

3. Stir in the quinoa and divide into 8,
mould into round pat tie shapes.

4. Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the patties for 8-1- minutes until cook throughout, turning occasionally.

5. Serve in toasties pitta with a little salad.

Disclosure I was provided with a £10 shopping gift card for the purposes of this challenge. All thoughts words and opinions are my own.

The recipe has been copied here with kind permission from Wholegrain Goodness.

Squashies take me back to the Eighties ...

You can take the girl out of the Eighties but you can't take the Eighties out of  an Eighties girl. So last Saturday it was a trip for me down memory lane back to the Eighties at the Museum of childhood , Bethnal Green thanks to an retro event organised by Squashies. Squashies are a new range of as the name suggests squashable sweets.

Ideal for parties , occasions , sharing trips to the cinema and even as wedding favours!.

Me on the right an Eighties girl.

I appreciate the picture is grainy but it was the Eighties long before super fast computers, the Internet, and mobile phones were the size of a house. The memories of girls giggling as they shared the love hearts out to the boys, taking forever to eat a drumstick stick lolly. Dumping a shed load of half pennies on the counter as you pointed to the stash of refreshers beside them.

"An Eighties girl is happy to wait,

Love hearts Be mine and Too shy,

Run over with sweets a plenty,

Look with doleful eyes,

Its elementary!"

So with Squashies I can re live the memories with a soft version of the iconic sweets. From Double lollies' to the popular Drumstick gums, there's a Squashie for everyone - sure to tingle the testbeds of all big kids.

Bright and colourful, Squashies are the perfect sweets to enjoy with all the family - curl up on the sofa and enjoy the perfect evening , even perhaps watching an family friendly Eighties time. And if you just want some 'me' time then the 45g bags are perfect for you.

Squashies are ideal if you've got a long car journey ahead or are looking for a pick-me-up during the working week. With no artificial colours, the quirky flavours are bursting with character and are utterly moreish.

For those who have a party planned or a get-together with friends, Squashies are an ideal partner. Soft and light, they will put a smile on everyone's face.

So say hello to Squashies and experience a revolutionary sweet that is guaranteed to impress! And don't forget to download the new free Squashies World App - a cute and challenging game.

To download visit

Sunday 27 January 2013

That was the week that was snow

I thought if I posisibly  gave you another whole hosts of snow pciture you might just start typing yawn , yawn yawn in the comments . And who quite frankly would blame you,  I am always in search of the unusual, the linguistic fantastic or that picture that makes you go wow.

A Winters day.

And then when I went to London at the weekend and I visited Harrods and the V & A museum the colour came back into my life, no longer was it a monchocrome sadness. First a chink of colour peeped in then the colours just started flooding into my life.

Emperor Caligula V & A museum

And back at home the cat got into the spirit of colour ....

I hope that this week you can colour your world beautiful .....

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

Silent Sunday 27/01/2013

Friday 25 January 2013

Ideal Mini Ipad case cover review

I have been testing out my new mini iPad mini cover .

And there's one design I could choose and its my cat I'll be instantly recognisable at blogging event and people are bound to ask me where I got my case from.

The case came from Ideal cases it has many devices that you can create covers for, personalising a case is great and your only limit is your imagination. If you can't think of anything then you can choose one of their pre designed cases.

It would make an ideal gift for Valentines day  which is soon ! or any other occasion. The ordering processing is completed without any hitch and the cover is dispatched quickly. At each stage of the ordering process I was kept informed by emails.

We are a multi iPad family so I will be ordering some more cases for these!

I was provided with this opportunity by Fuel my Blog

All opinions and thoughts are my own.


This guest post was written by the lovely MummyneverSleeps

Now, if you're a mother of a small male person, you may have had the sudden "Oh. Ohhhh." epiphany I did when my son was a couple of months old.
All the things you may or may not have berated your men folk for, now stands for nothing. The exasperated "Have you lost something down there, love?" while they're happily fondling away at themselves absent-mindedly.
Watching a baby having a good old rummage there and finding the erm... treasure, the glint in his eye, the slack-jawed glee, and from then on, the obsession begins and apparently, never ends.
The realisation that men are powerless to their winkies. And no matter how many times we raise our eyebrows, tut disapprovingly and chastise them, means they'll simply do it when our backs are turned.
I've been noticing a change in the waters, an altering of some stars alignment perhaps, I dunno. There seems to have been some sort of seismic shift and men don't appear to be very much liked at the moment. Even before everyone with a pair of breasts read that book by Caitlin Moran, the word "feminism" was being bandied about like bad jokes regarding horse meat being discovered in some beef burgers.
As much as I may jest about men bowing to the kings that are their penises, I like men. I do. Love 'em. One particular male an awful lot more than rest, but you know what I mean. I also dig feminism, it floats my boat. However, I can't fathom how one should cancel out the other. As far as I can tell in this situation, I can have my cake and eat it. Bonus.
Because you like men, shouldn't mean you don't like women, and vice versa. Feminism means all women's rights to be equal to those of men. Not "oh ladies, you've had a time of it, ain't ya? Here, I'll stick a couple more points in your favour. Bastard blokes, with their superiority and dangly bits."
Equal. The same. Share the love, y'know in a nice way, not the sleazy sort.
Yes, the glass ceiling exists, of course it does, I'm not completely deranged. All the tit for tat (geddit?), "She only got the job cos she's a bird." and "Sexist bastards, I didn't get it. Because I'm a woman."
So why is it, on television especially, that if a man makes a threat towards a woman, serious or not, he's a bastard, he needs to be locked up and never be allowed to see his kids again. A woman makes a threat towards a dude, and it's apparently, funny?
Why is it that it's cool for a woman to say, "I hope I'll beat all the men." *cough* MASTERCHEF, but if we did a little switcheroo, the man saying the same about beating all the women he was competing against, would be hated?
Why is it that a man can be thrown out of a nightclub / bar / pub / wherever for being drunk and a bit of an idiot, and no cares. If it's a woman, "OMFG, you can't DO this, I'm a WOMAN! I have KIDS."
Yes, before you start lynching me and getting all up in my face for my massive sweeping generalisations, what I'm trying to get at, is, some men are pillocks and some are nice, some women are idiots, and some are lovely. Because they're people, innit.
If you're all for feminism, meninism, or whateverinism (try pronouncing that sucker),  supporting something that is actually very good and positive, doesn't mean anything that doesn't fit in that bracket is negative and wrong.
*watches DaddyNeverSleeps scratch his nethers*
Actually, on second thoughts

Winters morning

Thursday 24 January 2013

Rouchefort and conquer

Toddler taming tales ...

I can hear you chuckling ...

That screaming bundle of joy, becomes a bigger soul sapping "why" "what's that " and every other phrase under the sun will become the master of your doom.

"Bless " people say when your toddler is screaming down the cheese counter at Waitrose" for a piece of Roquefort. The lady behinds the cheese counter gives you a wry smile ,giving you the look "why don't you buy some . You say " But they won't eat it at home" the lady begrudgingly gives over a sample of Roquefort you leg it.

And when you are about to pay for your other shopping you take your bag.. Errrrm your pushchair goes down a pair of little legs sticking up in the air.

You exit hastily.. oh you've forgot the milk ... never mind you can drink black coffee ....

Tuesday 22 January 2013

Snowman melts hearts

Children have a grip on reality that we as adults don't always get.

The children have all been merrily making snow men  here there and everywhere.

But today I realised how important it is for children to name things even snowmen, as it gives them a sense of reality . For them you see the snow man comes alive.

"My snowman died today" said the child quite sadly.

"I am sorry " I said.

"We didn't even get to name him, he just melted"

So make sure you name your snowman..... and remember him fondly.

"Keith the snowman"

Monday 21 January 2013

Meal planning Monday the snow edition

Just in case you don't know its been snowing I have been snowbound for two days my school closed on Friday but is not closed today. Looks out side and readies huskies either that or I will have to get the cats to drag me to my work at a school on a sledge.

Monday : Moroccan Surprise

This quite frankly is something I thought up on the spot and to my surprise and that of my family it actually worked. Cooking doesn't have to be hard and sometimes the best dishes can be ones that are impromptu.  When you are forced to come up with culinary anything edible dishes you feel as if you are on a Master Chef show.

It started with a pack of rather unsuspecting Lamb chops no myself or  my husband would have ate this served with potatoes and vegetables but the teen might of raised a Elvis style lip at this.

So I slow baked the lamb in the oven.

While this was cooking I cooked some white rice enough for 4 though because I didn't weigh my quantities it was more like 6 a case of the magic cooking pot I think!

I took the lamb out of the oven and left it to cool.

I got my trusty frying pan out and put some olive oil in it .. and heated it up.

I add in the white rice which was of course drain not all of it just enough for the 3 of us . Don't worry I didn't waste the remaining rice I shall be using that tomorrow.

I shredded the lamb and added it to the rice and here's where I got creative.

I added some coconut milk probably a cup full will do it .

1 tea spoon poppy seeds.

1 tea spoon mustard seeds.

1 tea spoon ground  turmeric.

1 tea spoon garlic puree.

1/2 tea spoon chili powder.

Some squashed stem ginger.

You can adjust this recipe as you see fit.

Added 100g or so of sweetcorn.

I then added one of those stock cubes and a cup full of water and simmered it off.

The result was a Moroccan style sweetcorn dish I added some stuffing balls to it as well!

Tuesday Frugal Corn beef Hash

Wednesday Italian Rice with turkey

Thursday Delicious Shepherds pie.

Friday Fish and Chips

Saturday Toad in the hole

Sunday Roast dinner all the trimmings.

Carpet of snow

SSSSh I have a major  confession don't tell anyone ....

I didn't mean to do it.

It was all perfectly Innocent.

It just started one day.

You know how it is right ?

The flash of temptation.

Your eyes don't know where to look.

You just know you are going to do it.

You  just have to go and stroke it,

Your hands running up and down it.

In a fever of emotion.

"Yes, Yes " you moan with  delight.

A gentle hand touches .

"Would Madam like this carpet ?" enquires the bemused salesman.

You point at your phone which demands you have a piece of cut off carpet in your boot to aid your car journey.

( You are meant to out a square of carpet under you wheels to aid traction in this icy weather) so the tv said  ...

Sunday 20 January 2013

Snow Bound 365

Its snowed ..  I know its the usual fuss transport grinds to a hold, we panic buy bread ,milk and Gin. We make snow men and snow ladies , we get cabin fever and contemplate chewing the leg off the cat because we have no food in the house.

I walked to work in the snow ....

The husband walked walk in the snow as the car was having its MOT done ...

The cat was  unimpressed with the state of snow in our garden.

And so went to look at the state of play in the neighbours garden as they say "The snow is whiter on the other side ".

And obvously it was much better in the neigbours garden so off he popped ...

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

Friday 18 January 2013

Zumba Fitness Core for the Wii review

Get ready to rock your core!
Zumba® Fitness Core is the latest release in the best-selling video game franchise so you can continue your Zumba® party at home.
As the only fitness game that targets your core, Zumba® Fitness Core focuses specifically on strengthening and sculpting your core, within an effective body workout to deliver the tight and toned abs for a sexy six pack.

  • Dance to 40 brand new songs across chart-topping hits, classics, exclusive re-records and contagious new Zumba® originals. New featured artists include Enrique Iglesias, LMFAO, Shakira, Bob Marley and more!
  • Hot new choreography specifically designed to sculpt stronger, sexier abs and provide a solid total body workout.
  • Workout your core by moving to 33 different dance styles - more than any other dance or fitness game!
Zuma at your pace with Zuma Fitness Core for the Wii least with this I am can build my way up to  60 minute workout instead of hiding at the back of the class. I  know how important it is too have a strong core as a previous cross country runner in my youth I was out of practise with following a heatlthy lifestyle. So doing Zumba in my home has given me my youth back in a sense though thankfully with the bad hair and clothing choices!

Though it is quite hardcore and if you are buying this no doubt you will already have some knowledge of Zumba and suitable fitness. That is something I have to say I am working on but I will get there I have nothing but determination.

  • New fitness features:
  • Set personal and shared community goals with friends on facebook.
  • Nutrition and lifestyle tips provide guidance on how to enhance your health, well-being and appearance.
  • Master three different game modes in the easy to use menu:
  • Tutorial: Learn at your own pace by breaking down the six core dance styles into the basics. Slow down or speed up each module to master each move and build confidence with per limb feedback.
  • Single Song: Dance a single core routine from your choice of all the 40 included in game appearance.
  • Classes: 20, 45 or 60 minute formats. Choose from 45 minute pre-set classes or custom your own Core workouts by saving a playlist of your favourite music.
  • Progress tracker tallies every workout statistic, including calories burned, achievements earned, overall rank and technique score.
  • Two player support on Kinect lets you party together
  • Dance hands-free towards that sexy six pack with full body motion tracking.
  • Voice control for Kinect menu navigation gets you dancing even faster.

Disclosure I was send a copy of this for review and all thought and opinions are my own.

Thursday 17 January 2013

We are all going on a summer holiday

Holidays they are fun aren't they ?

Those unless hours in airport restaurants .. * restaurants being the operative word *

The people that you  see ....

And when you are stuck in a small foreign provincial airport with weird tea and Arabian style coffee ...

Life becomes a junxtposiiton ...

You look at the airport destinations board you know where you can envelop your self in a secret life, imagining that you are off to even more exotic and  sunnier climates. You look and then take a second look .. no you can not imagine a holiday in Baghdad.

You play snap with the sugar sachets...

Other peoples children start playing football with the salt and pepper pots.

You cue up to get a hot drink  and you spy two cakes .. all sugary and tempting you.

BUT two lively children jump in front of you and shout " DAD , DAD"

You don't make a fuss as the airport guards are carrying guns.

A gentleman slips in front of you making apologetic eyes  and that international arm gesture that means "kids don't you just love them"

And purchases the two cakes and hot Arabian coffee and Cola ..

Oh yay perfect for lively kids in a small airport.

The gentleman retreats back to his encampment ..

Oh the gentleman that will be Jeremy Paxman.

The airport that will be Luxor in Egypt.

Wednesday 16 January 2013

Parents would you go back in time ?

Parents would you go back in time?

Writers block it had to happen its a post-apocalyptic nightmare  when only a jar of curry sauce is tempting you to review...

So I happened upon one of those sites that gives you a daily blog prompt hurrah, I thought until I saw the tittle and much mulling over ensued but then again that's the point sometimes. Yes sometimes some of the best blog posts can be written in five minutes and secretly all us bloggers are wannabe journalists whats the saying "That blog is just graffiti with bad punctuation" but please , please don't quote me on this.

The site I stumbled across while googling was "one minute writer" I twiddled my lady moustache with only my coffee and bits left over from me rebuilding my Dyson to keep me company and settled down to read todays prompt which was "Parents" but with a different slant on matters and it was

 "If you could somehow go back in time and meet your parents when they were the same age as you today , do you think you and your parents would be friends? Would you choose to 'hang out' and spent time together? What would you have in common? 

What's the catch you only have a minute to craft your responses:

So would I be friends with my parents at that age ... errrm probably not as to me at that time they were quite self obsessesed with their own needs.

Would I hang out with my parents my mother maybe as she has the ability like most parents to drag your places you never thought you would go hence I never ever got to go to a pop concert... ever.

What do we have in common with my dad I have no idea ..

My mother ... I suppose its the ability to just get up and go and drag my son places he thought he would never go like to real Egypt and not that sharmelsheik

Tuesday 15 January 2013

Rollie the Mafia cat

 Evil cat Rollie and its dislike of my husband sheepskin slippers has struck again. So what have sheepkin slippers going for them.

1. They are warm and snuggly buggy warm like slipping your feet onto warm pillows of soft soft marshmellow.

2. They are manly ... they are cavemen, like they are for hairy hairy men.

3. Rollie the cat likes them .... they are snuggly warm for a cats chin.

4. It gives sheep a purpose in knowing they are doing something useful.

5. It keeps the shoe shop in business as I am always buying a new pair.

But you upset the Rollie Mafia Cat in anyway and he will leave a calling card in your husbands slippers......

The husbands previous slippers

Dishlicious heart warming shepherds pie

lb s /900g potatoes , peeled and quarted
6 tbsp milk
110g butter but keep a small knob back for the sauce
Salt and Pepper
tin of ox tail soup
115g chopped onion
115g finely diced carrot
115g peas/sweetcorn
450g minced lamb/beef
1tbsp all-purpose flour
115g grated cheese
2tlb of olive oil
splash of lea and perils

The real twist I think is the inclusion of oxtail soup my friend told me about that one ! It turns a hum drum Shepherds pie into pure heaven.

Serves 4-6
  • Heat oven to 375/190c/ Gas 5
  • Boil the potatoes until soft then drain. Place the milk and butter in the pan used to boil the potatoes, return to the heat and warm gently until butter has melted.Add the potatoes and mash. Season to taste and keep to one side.
  • Put the olive oil in a deep pan. Add the onion and carrot and fry for 5 minutes.
  • Add the minced lamb and one- third of the ox tail soup the onion and carrot mixture, adding also at this point the sweetcorn. Sir constantly until all the meat is browned. Add the ox tail soup and season with salt and pepper. Cover with a lid and cook for 15 minutes.
  • mix the flour into the remaining knob of butter then add small pieces of this to the miced lamb sauce, stirring all the time until all the flour has dissolved and the sauce has thicken in around 5 mins.
  • Place the minced lamb sauce into a square dish around 8" 3 " / 20cm x 7 cm either glass or ceramic. Sprinkle the grated cheese on top of the potato and bake in the oven for 30- 35 minutes unil the surface is crisp and brown. Serve immediately. 
 I was sent this beautiful heart shaped Le Crueset dish from Wayfair what an amzing dish to serve your valentine meal in!

Sunday 13 January 2013

Its only a Winters Tale 365

This week it's been back to the grindstone as the saying goes but my job as a teaching assistant is anything but boring its wonderful and I have the pleasure of working with some very special people. I am blessed that my commute to work on my bicycle is not boring and I see so many beautiful things.
This is the misty lane where I cycle down to my place of work at a school.

I feel happiest when I am in the fresh air either with family, friends or on my own I use a camera in a daily basis I like to think I see the world in a unique way .. My way but I do take time to step from behind the lens for if you don't you'll miss the magic! And this is the surrounding countryside of the village of Osmaston where my son was playing football.

A Winters sky so beautiful ...

So that was my week a true Winters tale..

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

Friday 11 January 2013

Memories are made of this

So come August I 'll be back in the good old USA in Florida these are some of the pictures I took from last time I went but unfortunately all my picture from the three times I went were all wiped out when one of my old computers went thermal on me. Now I back up all my pictures I can not stress the importance of making sure you back up all your important digital pictures even scanning and saving real pictures.

Dominos Pizza takeaway review

Every so often I want to put down my trusty wooden spoon and break free from the confines of the kitchen and just relax especially when I have had a busy day at school and the husband has been busy ( not quite sure what he does but it must be exhausting !) And then there is the teen they are always hungry aren't they ?!

Pizza takeaway is not a regular occurrence for us but it is nice to have a treat once in a while it makes life the more sweet for it  especially when there is a movie involved. So with this in mind Dominos have launched a New Pizza and movies deal from their current releases or the library. People watch films on a variety of mediums nowadays such as Pc, Mac Ipad etc !

So when Dominos offered Pizza and a movie to me I said "Yes please "  I have just ordered the pizza (but it the time it took me to bung the washing in the machine, run round with the vacuum chase the cat from downstairs, make a cup of tea .) The pizza dutifully arrived I must have had a shocked expression on my face as the pizza delivery man said " You did order this didn't you ?" I said "Yes I just didn't expect it to come so quickly !"

So what did I order ?

1x Box Office Deal: Large pizza, Garlic Pizza Bread, Potato Wedges and a movie rental* for only £19:99
    Large (10 slices) Meatilicious
    Garlic Pizza Bread
    Potato Wedges
    Current Release rental
1x 500mL tub Ben & Jerry's - Cookie Dough
1x 1.25ltr Coke Zero

And the cost £34.97

When you place your order on line you will see a deal wizard button that shows you what money you can save!

Now this would have comfortably served four people and it good to have the option of chicken for those who either don't like pizza or only want a little bit of pizza. We were all pleased with the quality of the pizza and the amount of toppings it had on it.

We all settled down to watch a movie while happily munching on pizza ....

There was enough pizza, chicken and garlic bread for Mr T to take to work saving me enough job of making his sandwiches for the next day!

I noticed that you can order gluten free pizza as well  especially as the mother in law is coeliac.

Disclosure I was provided with an amount of £50 to spend at Dominos but I only spent up to £34.97 (  all thought words and opinions are my own and are not to be copied without my permission.

Thursday 10 January 2013