Tuesday 28 May 2013

Bringing the outside in : makeover challenge

I spend my life outside due to a number of factors being a sports parent going to watch my son play rugby and football. Cycling to and from work , pleasure to relax,

I adore nature and the happiness that it brings.

There is nothing better than the wind on your face, and the sun warming your heartland soul. And when I am home and I am in my dining room I want to bring the outside in and the inside outside. I love having a fushion of the two.

But unfortunately the dining room had become a dumping ground for the want of a better word.

When we moved in the garden was an overgrown wilderness as the house had been abandoned for 2 years. We spent time taming it , the lawn became home to a set of goalposts. So we left the established shrubs seeing as they could take the punishment of a football and children trampling over them to get the ball back. Now he's older and the goalposts have gone ( he plays for the village football team) we can start to inject some colour back the garden.

I also want this theme to flow back into my dining room as well. So with armed with a few items thanks to Moneysupemarket and working with what I already had. I Hope to have created a little oasis a "me" space for quiet contemplation even when the weather is too wet to go outside I have my own little piece of England . The picnic basket awaits by the patio door, the herbs are waiting to grow , the flowers (will) rise majestic from my Emma Bridgewater vase. 

A copy of Winnie the Pooh sit underneath the Arts and Craft table ready to inspire a whole new generation of new readers and to kindle the memories of those who have read it before or been read it. Everyone at least once in their lives must play "Pooh Sticks"

The plant table was a find from the other week.

The picnic baskets I already had.

The teddy is a childhood friend and toy.

The cushion is from my best friend ( who knows me all too well and is a human barometer)

The Emma Bridgewater vase was £29.99

The herb set was £10.00

The words were £10

And the labour for all this was free ( my husband was more than willing )

Monday 27 May 2013

Crispy Pollock fish fingers in tortilla salad wraps recipe

Crispy pollock fish fingers in tortilla salad wraps with McCain French Fries
Serves: 4
Preparation time: 5 mins Cooking time: 20 mins
  •   400g fresh pollock fillet cut into 8 strips
  •   1 egg, beaten
  •   100g cornflakes, crushed finely
  •   480g McCain French Fries
  •   Salad leaves and baby tomatoes
  •   Cooked peas
  •   Dollop of mayonnaise
  •   4 Tortilla wraps

  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C / Gas Mark 9.
  2. Place the crushed cornflakes in a dish.
  3. Dip each fish strip into the egg and then into the crumbs to coat the pieces evenly.
  4. Place the fish strips on a lightly oiled oven sheet.
  5. Bake in the oven with the McCain French Fries for approx 15-20 minutes.
  6. When the fish is cooked, take each tortilla and spread with some mayonnaise, salad
    leaves, baby tomatoes and a few peas, add two fish fingers to each and make a roll.
  7. Enjoy with McCain French Fries. 

We enjoyed this recipe and it just goes to show you you can have homemade food alongside oven fries creating that going out experience inside.
Disclosure ( I was provided with the ingredients for this review and my opinions are own and not biased in any way )

Saturday 25 May 2013

High days and holidays

Today was high days and holidays I climbed up Derby Cathedral tower and took a lot of pictures , far too many to exhibit in one post so I am going to have to do them over a number of posts. Its amazing how many pictures you can take when you are out and about. SO here is a selection of photos somewhat out of sequence nothing can beat the quintessential English cup of tea served in fine bone china, and what tea without a piece of cake in this cake Bakewell Tart.

As I previously mentioned I climbed the tower at Derby Cathedral some 189 steps on the journey up we saw the room where the bell ringers meet under the spider of bell ropes.

Derby Cathedral tower.

At this point I was sitting down as vertigo took over, usually i am fine with heights but my legs just started to wobble and I couldn't look up!

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

Friday 24 May 2013

Cheese and crackers

Today is my husbands birthday .

Today was my supermarket delivery.

On Tuesday the supermarket tried to deliver 24 blocks of cheese and 2 tubs of margarine, bemused I sent it back. I hadn't placed this order.

1. I had no crackers.

2. I had no pickle.

On Wednesday I placed an ordered for a romantic Chinese and wine evening along with some floor cleaner. I tell you romance is't dead in this household ....

So come today which is ( counts on fingers Friday) what turned up on my doorstep which I hadn't ordered .. You guessed it "Bloody cheese" again. 

Once I was past the sobbing stage I sent the cheese back, I was informed my Chinese order wasn't coming despite an email to the contrary . I rang my husband  to inform him "Can you please pick up your own birthday meal"

So 5 phone calls later I am still trying to sort it out , hoping I haven't been charged for 48 blocks of cheese and 4 tubs of margarine. I am also praying I haven't been charged for the Chinese food that never turned up.

Anyone for a giant fondue party ???

OOOh the supermarket that will be Online retailer of the year: Tesco.....

Wednesday 22 May 2013

Drink:The Gallery

Best Drink of my life  has to be when my head was in the clouds at Jamie Oliver Fifteen Watergate Bay. Where the sky meets the sea you struggle to see where it all ends it all ends. and when that sunset comes down over the Bay you don't want it to end a  perfect evening with a glowing sunset that washes a warmness over your soul you want to freeze frame the moment forever.

Saturday 18 May 2013

Bloggy Woggy Dodahs

"Bloggy Woggy Doodahs" as my husbands says when I embark upon a blogging jaunt , not quite sure he gets it?! He perhaps thinks (he doesn't really) that my heads up in the clouds...

So last week I went to blog camp.. What's that I feel a present of a blogging overlord who is telling me that my blogging soul is at risk if I don't correct myself and tell you it was Blog Summit . Please do NOT say "Blog Summit" in a streetwise voice.

I met up with a group of bloggers at Birmingham New Street , at first I wasn't sure where they were but  Annie from Mamasurus who was beaming ear to ear sporting a "Geek" jumper . I am not quite sure what you call a collection of bloggers ? If I don't mention you all by name please forgive me ...

So after arriving at Blog Summit there was cake ...   cake is good , friendships confirmed new and old, a name to a face and a face to a blog. I spied my buddy Wendy Macdonald we had been to Blog Camp as it was then a long while ago, we were on the naughty row.

Blogging is fun, blogging is a mystery waiting to be discovered , shyness is my enemy but friendship battles forth and wins me over.

A beautiful collection of ladies I'll think you'll agree winning my shyness over with their friendship.

The first session was a how to use your camera properly even though I had forgotten my DSLR ( first blogger fail of the day!) but none the less I used my camera phone to capture a number of images.

Not bad pictures I think . I hijacked Geekdaddy and we had a long conversation , he really helped my photography (white balance was a problem in a number of my pictures) and he gave some very useful tips thanks Geekdaddy!! the other half of Geekmummy.

Sometimes life can deal you lemons ...

But you can go ahead and just make lemonade!

Another session saw SEO come into play and me asserting myself by asking a question, much nodding of heads and agreement that I am indeed unique and a anomaly ! Very insightful and much for my technophobic head to get around.

Last session was brand awareness which pretty much speaks for itself culminating that both blogger and PR must show each other respect. The farewell speech ended on a high with my old "mate" Andy (Motty) Cope, teaching us to be brilliant and that when we wake up in the morning being grateful that we don't have tooth ache. That we need to be BRILLIANT and ignore the "mood" hoovers we all know them it's how we deal with them that makes a difference to our lives. 

We did a envelope swapping which saw us getting another blogger to write a guest post for hopefully in the not so distant future. Then it was farewells for some and knees up for others , I was in the knees up lot until my asthma kicked in and I didn't mention it so had to bail early. I have since learnt I should not keep my problems to myself !

I need a sign making that says "Bloggers at social media play do not disturb!"

Thanks to Cat Parrott for letting me come to the blogger shindigs!

Thursday 16 May 2013

Help I Am A Southerner Stuck Up North

Help I am a Southerner Stuck up North......

When I arrived to live in Derby many years ago, my first impression was it was just as sleepy as my hometown of Bedford.

Please don't get my wrong it was lovely to change from the sleepy town of Bedford which has a river running through its heart. Sometimes Bedford was a heads down place as people battled to get to London on the train as part of their daily commute. I welcomed without wishing to sound stereotypical I welcomed the "hellos" and the "Aye up me ducks" having lived and been brought up down south  this was not an aspect of daily life that I was used to.

I have always enjoyed the slower pace of life and where I live is just right in a suburb if Derby a sleepy village at the heart but has a sprawling suburb metropolis. I am the "middle bear" where everything is just right I am in the suburbia yet a hop , skip and jump from the countryside. Don't you find that in today's climate that no one seems to have time any more to just sit and have a coffee, do a crossword or watch the world go by or generally relax.

Derby itself is only a quick bus ride or car journey away, Derby though has been going through massive changes it has in nooks and crannies the feeling of a small town and this is what puts me at ease after all this years moving from a sleepy little market town and this is what I love about it.

And when and if I need a retail fix then I'll head into the Westfield where I can purchase everything from a spoon to completely refurbishing my interior. If I want to just browse I can do so without being jostled, shoved pushed and pulled.

There are numerous cafes, restaurants and wine bars where you can relax with a drink, meet up with friends for lunch and have a natter with, for that special occasion reserve a table at one of the hundreds of restaurants for an excellent meal with the special person in your life.

Entertainment wise there are cinemas, theatre shows, farmers markets, art gallery and museum, you name it that Derby has got it, its always reinventing itself. There is a 'Big Screen ' in the market place which is absolutely fabulous. It pulls the community together especially when the Olympics and Paralympics were on.

I thought that before I moved here I wouldn't find the Derby people friendly how wrong I was, on the whole they are a really friendly bunch of people. You can find yourself having a coffee and then be chatting to a total stranger as if you have known each other years. When I have tried this in larger cities , I find that nobody has the time or they look at me as if I am from the planet Mars with a ulterior motive in striking up the conversation.

Like many a native born Derby deweller I take issue with the endless roadworks , the prospect of building yet more houses without using the ones that lie empty or developing the brownfield sites.
If I was offered the choice to move back to Bedford would I could .... No when I have all I need here  as they say "Home is where the heart is" or is that heart is where the home is either way when I have all this countryside on my door step.

I am very happy to be a southerner in a northern city ..

Tuesday 14 May 2013

Hamster Of Doom The Tooth Fairy Edition

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Kids bless them.

They just love show and tell... Showing that diamond they found ( a stone ) the dinosaur tooth ( a stone) then there's the McDonalds toys the list is endless. It's a brilliant exercise to encourage children to talk about their toy etc, then there is the child who has stealth that you know is going to be prime minster one day.

"Next time I am bringing the Tooth Fairy to show and tell!"

Myself puzzled "How and why?"

"Ohh that's simple I'll take the hamster out of the cage , set a trap the fairy will rescue the hamster and then she'll take him back to the cage and then. I'll close the door . "

"But why?"

" So the fairy can answer questions at show and tell"

Fair enough.

I am not quite on their plans for Father Christmas mind.

Monday 13 May 2013

Magpie Monday hitting the jackpot

I regularly watch antique shows and think I'd love to spot one of those , but sometimes when you go into charity shops it's the same old tat, those copies of fifty Shades of Grey , knitted doll toilet roll holders (classy) and a pair of flares circa 1978.

But the other day as I waltzed into the local Charity shop I spied two items and I just knew I had to have them.

The items in question are a Victorian coal scuttle and an arts and craft table all for £20 the cat however is my own. I really think I need an Aspidistra plant to out into the coal scuttle I think it would suit it magnificently.

Sunday 12 May 2013

13th of May Silent Sunday

Nuture nature #blogging4madeleine

Nurture nature as you nurture children and you will see them/nature  grow.

In my life time I have seen the bottom of human existence within my job many years ago at the Crown Prosecution Service.  And the the things I read,  saw and had to comment on  are harrowing beyond belief. It left me with a complex of emotion ranger, disbelief ,sorrow, fear but you have to try and be professional you have to be detached its your job and and emotional involment could compromise or jupdise the case.

Children should  never be denied a natural children but the sad true is that they are, its fact we don't really like to acknowledge because wear within our own safety zones in respect to our own families. Madeleine Mccann went missing in 2007 we are all to familiar with the case so the questions of could of?, would of,should of ?, are moot in the respect she was just a little girl when she went missing.

Travelling as I do I am always seeing missing children posters in airports some taken by their parents, some not some simply missing there are always and forever a myriad of reasons. I remember on one occasion my son saying in respect to the Madeline case "Don't they know that Madeline wants to be with her family?"

  • When and where Madeleine went missing from (whilst on holiday in Praia da Luz, Portugal on Thursday 3rd May 2007)
  • The campaign #blogging4madeleine
  •  12th May 2012 is her 10th birthday
  • Contact information to report any sightings or information
  • Your local police force immediately, AND +44 845 838 4699 or investigation@findmadeleine.com OR Crimestoppers in confidence on 0800 555111 or www.crimestoppers-uk.org
  • The Find Madeleine official website www.findmadeleine.com
  • The latest image released as she may look now
  • All this information is available from www.findmadeleine.com

So if you can please join in continuing to spread the world of Madeleine, Ben and all the missing children.

Like and share #blogging4Madeleine via Facebook, Twitter, Google + and any other form of social media.

If you are affected by this or any other missing person/child situation there are a number of organisations you can contact Missing Kids UK (http://uk.missingkids.com/) or Missing People (https://www.missingpeople.org.uk/) 

Thursday 9 May 2013

Reasons To be Cheerful

Reasons to be cheerful in particular a friend who keeps me on the straight and narrow and reminds me of who and what I am. Without my friend I don't think I would be the person I am today , one who stretches my mind and reminds me that my intellect is something that shouldn't be wasted.

I am by nature a worrier .. I try not to and there are those who seek to undermine me play on this . But my friend gives me a virtual slap and brings me back to earth and then the world is a harmonious place again.

So what have I learnt

To be cheerful

How to cook... Seriously I was rubbish before now I am surpassing myself and I am even eating Beetroot , though I am yet to eat to tomatoes.

And I have learnt that silly pictures of cats are never ,ever a waste of time.

Now and Then 30 years back and forth : Roy Castle it's all about the nuts!

This post is an entry for the the #SpecialK30 linky on Britmums.

A lot has changed in thirty years one of these things is me and the other is Special K My memories of Special K that as a young child I didn't eat it but I do remember my dad really, really liked the adverts something to do with red swim suits I think..!

SO 1983 saw the introduction of Breakfast time television my parents muttered that will never catch on so thirty years later I am sat here munching my Special K watching yes you guessed it Breakfast television.

The Compact disc goes on sale in UK ... many people are confused as they mutter they can't hear a sound , it is pointed out to them they can't listen to on a turn table ( it is not a record !)

The introduction of the one Pound coin see a decline in people ironing one pound notes ....

Wheel clamps are introduced in London to combat illegal parking thirty years on are they are still at it !

And in 1983 birthday parties were all the rage along with silly hats , fast food eating establishment  that will never catch on .. will it ?

Also 1983 was an era of bad hair cuts notice mine below I am the little girl top left .... what a bad fringe.

Me top left in 1983!

Sir Clive Sinclair is knighted for his computing endeavours I had a Spectrum 48k and I hero-worship him for this, other people however thought different things about the Sinclair C5 a failed mode of transport . But without triumphs and failures we would never evolve !

The blame for this post is due to the fact I got to reading about buying the Guinness book of Records for Christmas this got me to thinking about my letter from Roy Castle.

Yes my dad found two nuts joined together and as you do I wrote to Roy Castle believing it to be a World record. He wrote back ! would the modern stars of today have the time to do that for a child nowadays.

Now Roy Castle didn't have to send me that letter he just did it out the kindness of his own heart. I wasn't trying to blag a free book off him or anything!. A genuine man who had a real talent as a presenter, musician and a human being. And I saw him in 'Singing in the Rain' as well, and met him at some fete or other.

So this is what I was doing thirty  years ago .... a memory made and one that will last forever.

And today Special K The new recipe contains three grains — rice, wheat and barley (previously there were two) — and is made with wholegrain, for a source of fibre as well as 8 vitamins and minerals. It gives health-conscious, weight-watching women  a tastier breakfast.

BUT special K is far more than a cereal it is also a useful ingredient for recipes from chicken nuggets to   taking the old fashioned crumble and swapping the topping to something more healthy.

May 2013 I do smile ! but taking your own picture is quite hard !
And as for the cereal I throughly enjoyed it and I am currently planning my summer holiday swim suit .. red I think don't you ! And also 30 years old I am hoping I can be a Record Breaker and finally get to lose that 6 stone in weight with the aid of Special K.

Disclosure ( I wrote the letter to Roy in  May 1983 I was 10 years old and probably used Basildon Bond note paper and envelope. I used of course a first class stamp!)

This is an entry for the BritMums/Special K “How I’ve changed Linky challenge”