Sunday 29 September 2013

It's Gino D'Acampo #Easyteam Meal Planning Monday

I'm here ... ready

I have taken in some of the sights and sounds of Newcastle.

Newcastle for me debunks any previous myths I held about it.

Saturday saw me meeting Gino D'Acampo as part of Zanussi #easyteam at Fenwicks Newcastle.

Before being unleashed upon the gathering crowds of mainly women. With Gino I found what you see is what you get. Boundless energy and a joie de vie ( sorry I don't know the Italian for that!)

Along with fellow team member and soon to be friend Richard I found Gino sitting in a little room. Black smart no doubt Italian boots were visible , I plonked my stuff besides some comfy sofas.

You hear of famous people and their demand for hand peeled grapes and penchant for bottled water chilled in Icelandic glaciers.

Gino had a bucket full of Italian soft drinks and waters and a glass bowl of wotsits crisps. Yes you read that right Gino loves Wotsits infact he offered me a packet of Wotsits and a drink , a soft drink.

He ignored offers of champagne.

So this edition of meal planning plays in some part an homage to Gino who said when I questioned him "I don't understand why people don't meal plan"
"There's always time somewhere "

And he's right meal planning is key to a frugal living but frugal living doesn't mean you can't have luxury entwined within the meals.

Cupboard staples are the backbone of a cooks cupboard , you may have got to the stage where you feel it's a bit Mother Hubbard but take heart. Here's some easy ideas to get you going.

Lunch Wosit sandwich.
Dinner Carrot and Parsnip soup.
Dessert Eggless Apple crumble cake.

And I glad I'm not alone in making a mess in the kitchen Gino does as well. He believes more kids should be cooking and it's our fear as parents as parents of them making a mess that stops us.

Tuesday Cornbeef Hash

Wednesday Something from this.

Slow cooked pork chops with seasonal veg

Friday Freezer rumble 

Saturday Eat out

Sunday Chicken Roast

Thanks to Gino and Zanussi for making the magic happen.

If I get distracted this week you know why.

Friday 27 September 2013

Splat The Cat And Starting School

Splat the cat is about to start school rather like his tiny human counterparts in the real world.

Anticipation of an event such as starting school can unleash a whirlwind of emotions.

Splat doesn't want to go to school , his reluctance is paramount but once he gets there he starts getting to grips with school.

Apparently you don't chase mice and with a little help from a friend the milk cupboard gets opened, and order is restored to all the little cats universe.

I don't earn much but I love to read to my reception class they are absorbing books like a learning sponge. So instead of buying that chocolate bar I buy a few books from the charity shop instead, I don't have to but it's what I do.

Reading helps establish routine and with routine you cultivate a child with an appetite for learning.

So Splat the cat  thank you .

I couldn't be any where different.

I couldn't be any where different.

I couldn't be nor would you be seeing what I see.

Scenery and buildings awaken 'The Tempest Soul' within me.

Family enlighten me ..

Are you in touch and tune with your surroundings whever you are on holiday or at home?

Thursday 26 September 2013

The Fringe

The fringe ,

It's the edge,

It's where I stand,



I shout,


And louder,

And yet,

It's never quite,




I say,

I take,

The stand,

My mind,

Is not,

Master over me.

All my tommorows #easyteam

Tommorow never comes does it.

Tommmorow becomes today.

And today becomes yesterday.

But tommorows can be an always constant in your life and one of them is learning how to cook .

So one of my tommorows is going to be cooking with Gino D' Acampo as part of the Zanussi easy team.

I am hoping I measure up to the task in hand.

Monday 23 September 2013

Down The Rabbit Hole

Down the rabbit hole after Alice .....

Will you follow ? or will you spurn adventure and amble back to normality.

Knowing that if you choose adventure you'll never ever be the same again. The blue touch paper of quizzical wanton adventure will take you like a thirst.

And you seek and seek to quench your thirst knowing truly that it's an unquenchable thirst.

It would be churlish of me not to share ...
my down the rabbit hole adventure 

But the treasure is mine to behold ...

Brabantia Laundry Bin making Laundry Less of a Chore

The household laundry is well to put it bluntly a pile of pants, no one ever said doing the laundry was sexy. So whilst the subject of actually doing the laundry may not be exciting as it also seems that the laundry doesn't magically transport it self to the washing machine. But no matter the laundry can be a euphoric experience with a Brabantia 30 litre stainless steel bin.

No more heaving your laundry over in a separate basket to carry it to the washing machine! So you to can play at being Father Christmas ! except you are carrying a load of prespants ( please excuse my pun) The 30 litre stainless steel bin includes a removable and washable laundry bag. Plus the bin is corrosion resistant, so you can easily place it in the bathroom.

You might think its a little expensive at £84 but it is a worthwhile investment I assure you!

  • Solid lid with special opening to put small items of laundry in the bin without opening the lid - easy to use and content hardly visible for more discretion.
  • Removable laundry bag - with elastic and non-skid rim - easy to fix and to remove when carrying
  • Made of durable corrosion resistant materials ideal for the bathroom.
  • Plastic protective bottom ring - prevents damage to the floor.
  • Ventilation holes - allows the laundry to breath

Brabantia guarantee

10 Year

Brilliant ! I can now let my sons smelly rugby kit breathe whilst I am washing his muddy football kit !

And my cats are always willing to get in on the action 

Rollie was being a prissy fuss cat he thinks he's king of the household.

Whilst Jack has a weakness for boxes ...

Why not enter Brabantia new design competition after all we all having a budding designer fighting within us waiting to get out don't we so Brabantia want you do to uleash your creative juices. The winner will win a trip to Salone Internazionale del Mbile in Milan. Runners up will get their designs printed on a set of bespoke, one - off canisters.

The competition is open all from professional designers to the general public.

Read all about the competition and submit your entry, by October 22nd, here.

Disclosure ( I was sent the laundry bin for review)

Sunday 22 September 2013

My First , My Last , My Everything

My first my last my everything memory maker my holiday , I miss it and I'm sure it misses me.

I left my soul behind in the deep blues skies while the clouds float by on a cotton candy daze.

And if you go to my holiday place think a while on me , I will feel the connection undeniably.

I'm not mickeying around it takes a while for your feet to touch the ground , when your eyes have seen and been stretched beyond what they normally see.

Life's a firework let it explode 

Silent Sunday 22

Wednesday 18 September 2013

I found Autumn

I found autumn I found it first , it was hiding in the deep dark woods. I crept upon it and jumped up and down. Autumn was quite taken back after all its beauty was there for its own self satisfaction.

Autumn is quite no very beautiful  but who can blame it with its show stopping looks. Autumn beckons you onto its secret paths , the windings highways and byways come alive under the autumn dappled glow.


The secret autumn holds are locked sometimes deep , deep in the woods. It can feel like you are ascending into a magical world .

Dens abound who wouldn't want to be here with autumn?

Nature offers it platter up for all to take but just to tell you it's my secret place.

And don't tell autumn there's green waiting to shake its musty hand.

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

Sunday 15 September 2013

Saving For The Future

Being one of seven children times were tough for my husband , he was the youngest of the seven in this family there are six boys and one girl. This meant that there were three boys in one room two in another and his sister had a room of her own. If they wanted anything they earned money by doing chores in the house and such luxuries as a beef burger was heard of till my husband was thirteen. And a visit to Wimpy was a life changing occurrence on the annual family holiday.

Holiday was a time when the whole of the family trooped down to the post office to withdraw some money for their holiday spends. They had saved a proportion of their money each week in anticipation of the items they might buy on holiday.

When my husband needed some football boots he had to save up by doing not only his chores but also taking on a paper round as well as not buying sweets. He didn't go without sweets he barted with his siblings and took on some of there household chores.

The boots he had spotted weren't new they were second hand and several sizes too big the boots were fifty pence. It took a while to save up for them his situation compounded by seeing the boots everyday on his way to and from school.

But with the hard work of his saving paid off and he was able to purchase the boots and then his dream of joining the local football team was fulfilled. He didn't make it into being a professional footballer but his saving and determination enabled other dreams to come to fruition.

Christmas was a very frugal time as his older siblings grew and went out to work they saved to give their younger siblings a worthwhile Christmas . This had a knock on effect on the parents it allowed them to use the extra money that wasn't being spent on Christmas gifts to be put into the house instead either on the mortgage or house improvements.

Saving money has a domino effect through families , friends and society and that includes myself would you believe. In  my teenage years I was raised within a single parent household and money was tight, sometimes I had to eat the cats coley and have boiled egg in ryvita just to survive. So when I met my husband who had just lost his mother to cancer in his teens,  he went to work. He helped me to save by giving me his old items allowing me to use the money to buy my school books.

I also got a part time cleaning to put myself through school as well and all good things come to those who wait and save. 

Saving has changed since myself and my husband grew up in the 70s,80s and we are now focused on teaching our son how to save money in readiness for such necessities as food in his university years. Granted this is four years off but so the process begins our son has taken the step if taking food technology at school, I am sure in turn he will pass his money saving skills on to his own family.

This post is an entry into theTots100/Roosterbank Pocket Money Competition”

Silent Sunday 15

Saturday 14 September 2013

Kennedy Space Centre To The Moon And Back

We have been to Kennedy Space centre the last time being when several military men with flat haircuts questioned me about my metal water bottle ....I digress . Having been before we had met an astronaut , got his autograph so this time was exploring . At Kennedy it's not a case of why did the chicken cross the roads it's more of why did the alligator. Kennedy Space centre sits on a nature reserve, a visit here a full day, it's suitable for all ages.

Kennedy Space Centre

Kennedy Space Centre

Kennedy Space Centre

Atlantis Space Shuttle

Kennedy Space Centre

And since the inclusion of the Atlantis space shuttle housed within a world class exhibition Kennedy Space Centre doesn't hold back in fuelling your interest. 

Saturday Caption #satcap

 Travelling on the best airline in the world ....

Friday 13 September 2013

Ranty Friday School cost

Yes its that subject again.

Schools cost.


This week its a French book, Cookery stuff, cookery text books, finishing off paying for Paris , music lessons, PE activities.

Granted there was a free option with PE which was fitness and bouncing on a trampoline, but my child wanted the football option at £17

The rugby tour is £499 and the music lessons are £8 a week , the cookery books are £8 and the French books £2.50.

Then there is the special PE kit you have to wear when doing your GCSE's all good stuff. I only hope he get a jolly good job after University has bled me try in the years to come. And that in doing all that I hope he will put me into a nice care home after all as he says....

"Be nice to me I get to choose your care home"

Suppose its my fault for living in a nice area but a top notch state school. I've not added the costs up because I think if I did I would fall down and never recover. Hats off to parents who have more than one child and juggle costs .. I have a feeling deep in my bones there is going to be another French trip. I could say no that would be the sensible thing to do but I remember not going on a trip my parents or rather my mum wouldn't let me. I was sure they could afford it as we weren't poor it was one of those trips that not going on broke my heart as it was a trips that all my school mates bonded on and pushed me further away from them.

SO you see I may rant but I letting J live his dream because not letting go I clip his wings.