Friday 31 July 2015

How My Worse Moment Became My Best

A guest post by the wonderful Moderate Mum

My son was a good baby. I know you’re not supposed to say that because all children are a gift and labels stick and yadda yadda yadda but seriously the kid was easy. He had his moments of course and he was never a fan of sleeping but during the day he was super chilled – he ate what he was offered and was happy to hang in a bouncy chair for an episode of Bake Off. He was a pretty low maintenance little dude. My friends told me, ‘It’s your parenting! It’s because you’re such a relaxed mum that he doesn’t give you much trouble.’ And fool that I am I started to believe them. So when one morning Roscoe woke up as a toddler, complete with an intense need to destroy; an alarming ability to ignore boundaries and an unwavering commitment to refusal, it hit me like a Red Bull laced espresso.

To add insult to injury Roscoe also gave up naps, I didn’t even get time to formulate my strategy. I spent twelve hours a day saying, ‘No, Roscoe’ I gave serious consideration to recording the phrase and having is playing on repeat, I could turn it off for the five minutes a day it wasn’t necessary. I couldn’t believe what my darling, placid baby had become. Gone were the long lunch dates, magazine reading in the park and in their place – endless negotiations, battles and meltdowns (on both sides).

For some reason his new hatred of nappy changing hit me hardest. Perhaps because there was no way to avoid it; perhaps because it was so obviously helping him; probably because no one likes being covered in poop. It was one of those changes that my worst moment came. He has the strength of ten inebriated man. Limbs were flying everywhere and his power move, the head butt, was being employed on a frequent basis. As I tried to restrain him, I could feel the tension rise through my body. A sharp pain pulsed on my right temple. My breathing had become ragged and shallow, ‘No, Roscoe, no,’ I said, ‘No Roscoe, no,’ I pleaded and finally, well and truly at the ends of my wit, ‘Roscoe, stop it or I will…’

I’ll never know what I was going to say next and that’s what scared me most. I did not know what I was capable of, I hadn’t lost control of my son, I had lost control of the parent I wanted to be. What was I threatening - I will smack? I will shout? I will abandon you? I suddenly realised I was expecting a one year old to be responsible for an atmosphere that it was my job to create, I had an opportunity to flip a switch and I was gonna take it…
‘Roscoe stop it or I will…tickle!’ I launched into the greatest tickle fest man has known and well, who can resist a tickle fest?  The tension was released, we both were calm and connected and had forgotten what we were angry about. I had turned my worst moment into one of our best.
Now I love when I feel that telltale tension in my shoulders or when my breathing starts to get shallow because they are helpful reminders that I need to stop, connect and find the joy. I don’t even have to think about it because my automatic response is a tickle fest and tickle therapy has proven to be a very restorative process. No matter what when my partner comes back after a long day and asks me how things have been, I can honestly say – we laughed all day.

Thursday 30 July 2015

Rollie How My Style Is Influenced By Archie The Furry Superstar From Gourmet

Sponsored by Gourmet

Shuffles papers.

Rollie loves the finer things in life.

"Time for a cat news report , ever wondered how I got to be as glamorous as I am now  ? well my style  and demeanour had to be influenced from some where and I can think of none better than Archie from Gourmet."

"The lifestyle of the famous isn’t as easy as it seem, take it from Gourmet’s adorable feline foodie, Archie. The furry superstar takes us behind the scene on his first ever You tube video to show us the ropes to acting. Check out his amusing tips!"

Read an exclusive interview and more articles on Guardian’s micro site here

"Although I declined to appear with Tom Cruise in the latest Mission Impossible film , the offers for other films are flooding in, I missed out on a whisker to the cat in the Harry Potter saga. I love chasing butterflies, French cinema, opera and the works of Shakespeare, my hobbies including styling leather chairs which no doubt will one day win the Turner prize. I do believe in doing things slowly why rush into anything , I bided my time to leave fluff on the stair carpet, my pet ( the human) calls this an annoyance . I call this accenting and very much on trend , I am at this very moment writing an ebook what good blogger/author doesn't hawk their wares this way , also I am in development of an social media app.

I must go now , it seems I must pack for a trip to the cat spa , I think the pet will try and brush me , I think not . Now what should I pack do you think ?"

Tuesday 28 July 2015

Pets In Windows

A window sill is not a window sill unless there is a pet at it.

I have long since given up putting ornaments on my window sill which of course I ignored then we were into the whole dust guilt cycle. Now the window sill is purely a platform for my cat to survey the domain it holds in the power of its paws.

Of course when your an artist/ actor  you are prone to temperamental hissing fits , you place unreasonable demands on your staff. And you'll refuse to come out of your trailer till your demands are met. Adds tuna to my shopping list ~ big sigh. 

The lovely people over at Everest are having a competition which is all about pets at windows sills.

There of course is a hashtag  every hipster cat knows that!


So why don't you pop over and enter. Everest will give £5 to the RSPCA (registered charity number 219099) for everyone that enters, up to a maximum of £5,000. You can enter online here  or using the hashtag #petsinwindows via twitter.

When Jack heard that Rollie was being a right royal diva he immediately left into action for the starring shots.

"Shoot me like one of your French models"

"I'm not ready!"

"You say you cleaned these windows ?"

I hope that you will enter and remember it can be any pet that enters , do take care ! especially if you place your tortoise on the window sill ( they are awfully speedy)

Disclosure ~ I am being compensated for this post , also I am having to buy Rollie tuna. Jack will be compensated with some chicken.

You can follow Everest Home Improvements on Twitter and Facebook to keep up to date on their latest deals and offers, and should also check out their top quality double glazing.

Monday 27 July 2015

Cheesy Chicken With Pitta Croutons

It's the summer holidays big big hurrah , six glorious weeks of sunshine ( please excuse if it raining whilst you are reading this right now ) this dish is a quick one. It can be easily adapted to suit your tastes.


4 chicken breasts

Grated Parmigiano Reggiano Dop


Heat the oven till 180 c 

Place the chicken in a suitable oven proof dish.

Sprinkle with the 

And cook for 30 minutes 

When the chicken is cooked , slice and leave to cool.

Cheesy Chicken
Add caption

Pitta bread croutons 


4 pitta breads split and shaped into triangles.

6 tablespoons of olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons of paprika ( I prefer sweet)
1 teaspoon of cumin
A twist of the salt mill
A splash of sherry vinegar or white wine vinegar


Preheat the oven to 180 c 

Brush the dressing onto the pitta triangles. 

Next place on to a oven proof baking tray .

Bake in the oven for no more than 5 minutes.

Pitta Croutons

Cheesy Chicken with pitta croutons

Pitta Croutons with cheesy chicken


I developed this recipe myself as I was a hungry . I got the cheese free as part of the Orchard scheme through Tesco.

Thursday 23 July 2015

Remember Love


We may show wrinkles as we grow old but the heart doesn't have wrinkles the heart doesn't know what is on the outside. Love is a harmony walking in unison , love is a touch a word a gesture love is kindness , love is being.

Love is flash and feeling.

Love is slow.

An old couple walking holding hands

This is a picture I took on the spur of the moment when I went to the mill with my husband and I adore how the couple are walking in time with each other still after all these years.


Tuesday 21 July 2015

Frugal Holiday Countdown Pasta Sauce

Counting down to holidays means frugal time in the T family 

Mr T was popping off to play cricket against the police I think he is trying to renaact the ashes , this week has seen the buy of new cricket pants ( alas it did not come with the chap who modelled the cricket pants ~ SHAME) also so leg thingy oooh yes pads. I fed my husband an earlier prepared curry and onion Bhajis . Meanwhile earlier I had fried some mince making sure I got rid of any fat.

So I made a one pot spaghetti sauce 


1 pack of mince already cooked.

1 tin of chopped tomatoes

Optional herbs , garlic etc.

A splash of water

A good dollop of Heinz sweet chili ketchup

Chopped red onion


Just mix all the ingredients together and pt in to a cooking pot with a lid and cook for around 30 - 40 minutes  on 180c

Check every so often

Towards the end of cooking remove the lid.

Also boil enough pasta for 4 people

Squeeze a little more ketchup into the spate mix just before mixing in the cooked pasta.

And there you have a frugal holiday rundown of our freezer.

Saturday 18 July 2015

A Frugal Trip For The Summer Holidays In Derbyshire

I'm ready for the holidays.

But I don't break up till next Thursday , I tell you I'm weeping into my cornflakes every single sunny butterfly blessed morning , with birds sitting on my hand happily tweeting away, or am I getting confused with Snow White / Mary Poppins ?! 

We dropped our son at his holiday job after which I decided to direct the chauffeur ( husband) to Caudwell Mill near Rowsley ( a mere skimming stone from Matlock) 

£4 is the entry price to the mill , there is various craft places there etc, the parking is free. So you don't have to visit the mill but it's worth a look if you've never been or not visted in years.

If summer doesn't come to you then you must seek it !

Thursday 16 July 2015

Blackberry Drop Cookies Cakes

I found myself cakeless , biscuit less and after the night I have had I need it the car was possessed and decided to alarm itself all through the night , I haven't seen my neighbours yet. This is one of those adjust to suit your needs recipes as I was boredom baking, so when I boredom bake I am very much baking by the seat of my pants which hopefully this time I have put on the right way around.


180 grams of plain flour
100 grams of sugar I was using coconut sugar which has a low GI
100 grams of low fat spread ( you may need more)
1 egg possibly 2
pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
cup full of blackberries


Preheat the oven to 180 c

Combine all the ingredients except the blackberries together.

Cover a baking tray with grease proof paper and dollop some of the mixture on ~ a spat really 

Bake in the oven for 20 ~ keep an eye on 

The result will be a flat but bouncy cookie cake 

Disclosure ~ I do wear more than pants when cooking ~ I may be over 40 but hot flushes haven't found me yet ... 

Remember this is a boredom bake so please adjust to suit your baking !!

The blackberries were 20 p from Tesco reduced of course , this is how we like to roll.

Wednesday 15 July 2015

Degustabox In June

June saw the delivery of a rather delightful Degustabox which is always a privilege to receive a treat , I do mostly share , well you have to don't you ?! There was plenty treats that you could enjoy at home or at a picnic , I do love picnics , when I get my bicycle with a basket there will be more picnics !

With the hot weather I did try they Vybe juice and I really didn't like it , but I can see it appealing to other people. My husband was refreshed by the Rekorderlig cider ( made with Swedish Spring water) which suddenly packed a punch to his taste buds, there was also an adult inspired ice pop called Icycl ( sadly I had a faulty one that leaked so I didn't get to try it ) I did have the option to have this replaced but I didn't of this but I have heard good things from those who have tried it. Whilst Mr T was at work I could sit in the garden and enjoy a cool Zeo a lightly carbonated soft drink with naturally extracted fruits and botanicals.

Degustabox is a great way to try out new products Mr T loved the Love Chin Chin a West African snack which is rather like a biscuit combined with a cake. J loved the Brioche Paquier and this is now a staple purchase in our household handy for the summer holidays etc and car journey , pack lunches and so forth with them being indvually wrapped . Both my husband and myself loved the Kallo rice cakes smothered in chocolate a cheeky but healthy treat that is calorie friendly. The melba thins I can see will be useful for me taking to work as I won't have a lot of time to eat something before I have to go teach my lesson at school.

I cooked with the Coconom which is a coconut sugar and I can see myself do rather a lot of baking with this, here is a recipe I used it in recently.

When Is the First Thing you Do When You Get To Your Hotel Room?

When it comes to travelling I love it , if I could jet off every other week I would but I love the holiday build up the anticiatption , the planning , picking up the tips packing the case ~ organising everyone. Where as my husband isn't relaxed till we get there and the same when coming home , I am just chilled all the way and back , it puzzles my family that I do talk about planning the next holiday before we have even been on the one we are going on!

What are the first things that you do when you plonk yourself down in your hotel room when you have arrived for me it is

1. Check I have 2 pillows ~ otherwise no one can rest.

2. Make a cup of tea and nibble the free biscuits.

3. Check out the toiletries.

4 Unpack

I hear hear you screaming check out the view the view .. you see I combine this with number 2 on my list while my husband and son are channel hopping happily and whooping they found the sport! 

I looking a well known travel site you know the one where you read about hotel reviews and this made me giggle about what people did in relation to when they got to their hotel in Vegas.

"Toss bag in room, do a quick search of room to make sure there isn't a dead body or somebody missing a kidney in the bathtup... head to to play."

I do also check out the cleanliness of the room as that is an absolute , I have waited a year for a special holiday I want to be relaxed !

I also check out the local information in any brochures and then get ready to rumble , it is not unheard of me after freshening up after an 8 hour flight depending on the time of day when I land to get straight out exploring !

Monday 13 July 2015

Countryside Confession

I see Kim Kashadian has been spreading herself round the British countryside, wondering why there has been so much shadow round? Well I think Kim's big back side has been creating a rather big shadow everywhere! Now I love the countryside and I adore tractors , I can identify the sounds between Massey  Ferguson and a John Deere. 

Thing is you'll not see me lollaping over it .

I mean I shop at Ocado but that doesn't mean I want to drape myself over a tractor or pout by a pile of dirt. What ever floats your countryside boat ~ however Kim think you might need to get yourself some more clothes....

If you've got it flaunt it ? Maybe not perhaps this is why we don't see any hedgehogs?

So I love tractors however I'm not going to love them in a saucy capacity....

Saturday 11 July 2015

How Do you solve A Problem Like A Ninja ?

What keeps us young ?

I suspect it is do a bit of what you fancy or in my case rather a lot , I am by nature a willow the wisp character , a flitter and a flutter. When they said " how do solve a problem like Maria ?" I think they were actually referring to me. I used to worry when I used confuse people but you know what I don't care any more , if I need to explain I will , if you truly know me you'll get it.

I'm the wave that can't be pinned to the sand.

The flippity gipity ness is what keeps me young that and tea , I mean who else would mop the floor before making a cup of tea?

See I am the other side of an anniversary of my depression and I am now feeling that I am living, why should I keep worrying about people think of me , we can't like everyone. I didn't get on with CBT last year it wasn't for me to be honest down a counsellor with an emotional range of a teaspoon to quote Hermione from Harry Potter.

For me I have learnt talking through things helps to my friends I mean my real friends and that is what works for me. I can't spend my life worrying about every little thing I am not living in the moment awoken if you will. It is what us Ninjas do us willow the wisps us trail blazers...

Pegging out washing pause.

You see the turning point is accepting what I cannot change like the weather I am no more in control of that than I am of a cat ~ free will and all that jazz.

I do have flighty moments but now I walk away from what think might be triggering it and live my day and it is fantastic , for when you relax you notice the finer details it life. It is  a sign of a light bulb being switched on in your brain. For all the times people told me not to worry about it and let it go they were right it was just fighting it out how ! The more you are told it is reactionary to listen less  it is what us humans do ! until we spark ourselves out.

I am brave , I am a hero I am me 

The other evening I went to sign with the community choir I hadn't been to for years  and it was my first time back since my breakdown , we were to sing at the local dementia home. I arrived with my work colleague and to say I was anxious was an understatement , I couldn't look up at first. The reason I couldn't look up wasn't because of the audience but my own inhibitions but as I sang I did look up and noticed the finer details. the finer details I noticed was the joy that music brings to the human soul and condition it unlocks from our mental fight. To see dementia sufferers taping along and singing , and they kept us out our toys , it was a humbling experience and when the music some retreated back into themselves.

Music can reach them .

Music can reach.

See now I am living life for me

SO how do you solve a problem like a Ninja ?

Friday 10 July 2015

Thing IS ...

Thing is I have to grow old.

Thing IS I have to grow old gracefully   disgracefully 

Thing is I 'm told I shouldn't hold a grudge for days on end.

Thing is you shouldn't have ate the last choc ice

SO I ate the muffin I brought for you ... in protest

AND no I haven't brought the washing up gloves to protect your lilly white hands ...

Thing is the those shoes just fell in my virtual shopping basket.

Thing is I was mugged by a Strawberry scone while you were out

It was awful

You wouldn't have survived the attack

Tuesday 7 July 2015

Well Dressings in Derbyshire

At the weekend we attended a well dressing . not literally a well dressing but a tradition going long back giving giving thanks for the water supply, now the village that is next to me is called Aston On Trent which lies on the river trent * what coincidence . The well dressings started back in 1997 ( from from this is raised for nominated charites) other areas go way way back in the mists of time. Aston on Trent is a sleepy little village with bags of chocolate box character and is at the bottom of a lane at the bottom of my road , sometimes I cycle there which is a bit hairy as the lane is a 60 mph country road * yikes.

Friday saw us popping over and installing ourselves in the local watering hole , must admit it took me a hour and half to relax , wicker man and you're not local vibes weren't there despite me imagining such things. It took me while to relax and soon the friendly locals were buying me lager one after another ( I wasn't driving ) When I say I am in a country idyll I am , I am in a village myself though it has been engulfed into a urban sprawl it is surround 360 degrees by rolling and undulating countryside.

This is why when and if I have to go to London I do love it but then I hanker to get back to my peace and quiet. I love the horses clipping and clopping down the road where I live and the tractors ooh how I love a tractor * nods I do , intact I am a bit obsessed, think I have turned into a lady tractor spotter.

Here in Derbyshire we are like that , I may be a soft southerner and get outed by my accent on occasion but what the heck if you can't beat em join em. Oh that reminds me they do thrash the village boundary for good luck or something like that ...

I think my favourite well dressing was Alice in Wonderland ...

Ooh if you looking to buy me a present what about this Georgian dream house ?

There is of course the village church which is old * really old ( goes to check dates ..

If you need me I'll be the one staring into the countryside ...

Taking Steps To Improve Your Credit Rating

When it comes to finances there is joy in actually paying off a balance knowing that it is at zero , and while I am puzzled that they are sending me a statement saying I owe £0.00 I am over joyed. This time I am not going to go and start my balance again with this certain catalogue company. I am slowly improving my finances and in doing so improve my credit rating which I am has taken a bashing over the last few years. It is important to keep things under control in order to maintain a good credit rating and I am talking about this in collaboration with TSB

In fact as I am starting to take more controls of my finances with budgeting, I am thinking of of bigger projects within my household such as a new kitchen next year.

Why is it important a credit rating so important ?

Our credit rating affects our lives not just when it comes when lenders look at this when we ask for  to mortgages, loans and credit cards. Also your credit raring can affect mobile phone contracts, car insurance banks accounts and much more. Life however isn't smooth but there are steps we can taken to help iron the situation.

Practical steps I am taking to get credit fit as it is important ! 

1. Prioritising my debts I am getting out those bank statements  and bills and listing my debts from the highest to the lowest .

2. Don't be afraid to talk to your creditors ( it really doesn't need to be that scary ) I did and feel so much better for it.

3. Sometimes it can be good to take a loan and consolidate your debts  ( this should always be done with full financial advice as your don't want to be in a situation where you can't afford to pay it back)

4.  Get help  You could try a debt remedy tool which offers great advice and reassurance that you aren't alone in your situation. You could also look at the Government's  Money Advice Service

5. Set a deadline , there is nothing like a deadline to keep you on track . Once you have set a deadline then you know how long it will take you to clear that debt. One thing is if it seems like a long time , don't get down hearted as the way I see it and any creditors will you likely see you  are taking steps to take control of your finances.

Other steps to improve your credit rating.

 Make sure you get on the electoral role ( even if you don't want to vote)

 Make sure the facts about you are correct.

 Make sure that anyone associated with your address such as an ex partner or spouse is not linked to you , then write to the credit reference agencies and ask for a notice of disassocaition.

 Get rid of any used credit card , in fact I have just shredded one that had a nasty high APR it was one I no longer use.

  Pay your bills on time  , I ensure this by using direct debits it displays to the lenders that I have good money management skills.

 Having had previous issues with credit cards , I now only use them for small amount and make sure I

pay them off in full in each month. For me I make sure I never go over £50.

I am looking forward to my summer holiday this year without having to worry about my credit situation.

Monday 6 July 2015

When Did you Read That Last Bedtime Story ?

When did you last read that last bedtime story ?

When you read that bedtime story to your child ?was it the last one ever? , when did the last bedtime story become the forever thing in the past ? I can't remember the last bedtime story so there is a twang of sadness in my life . I have just read Tattooed Mummy's Randoms on her daughter nearly turning 16 , out children at a similar age though my son is already 16. And you see 16 is that cusp of remembering what you were doing at 16 ....  16 seems now to be that twilight time. I don't have a party popping 16 year old , I have a just got first job sensible 16 year old , putting them selves forward in a job that puts them out of their comfort zone.

SO why do I feel so bereft I was the one that plonked them at Beavers when they were sobbing with their arms clung round my legs with my husband saying he wasn't ready, I was the one who signed them up to try ballet ( despite husband mutterings ) I was the one who signed them up for horse riding lessons. I was the one that booked Cairo and trekked my child in the Egyptian desert , I was the one that booked Dubai and let my child go down the worlds highest water slide. It wasn't pushy parent syndrome.

And when asked "Is this a GCSE text " I nonchalantly said " OOOH no" and handed over a big pile of books while running away. I was the one that said

"WE don't have that as a screen saver"

I am strict and yet I am fair Game of Thrones hasn't been watched by the teen here but he knows what has gone off through discussion on youtube ( his youtube is restricted ) I am the one that checks the occasional attitude ( do some husbands have a filter  ? probably laughs like Eddie Murphy)

There was utter panic when I couldn't contact him in the next rural village , it is a mum thing , husbands I think are more chilled out ... SO 5 phone calls later and furious typing on my husbands mobile , we actually went a fetched him from the village mobile blackout spot . I don't think it is the most helpful reply from a certain mobile phone company that suggests if my teen moves 4,000 metres outside the village they will get a better signal. Not the best in a rural location in the dark ....

But I need to see them as an adult in the house and not a Gremlin ... mmmm maybe not yet

As I type this they are still asleep yesterday they worked hard in a pub serving food....

"What will you do with your money ?"

Big shrug of shoulders ...

So when did I read the last bedtime story OOOOH when did I ?

Saturday 4 July 2015

7 Things You didn't know About Barbie

7 Surprising Things You Didn't Know About Barbie

You will find a Barbie doll (or ten), plus all the accessories that come with her, in most kid’s toy boxes. However, for some she is seen as more than a toy and there has been much controversy over the years and many people questioning whether she is a good role model to young girls.

Over the years the typical blond haired Barbie doll has evolved to incorporate numerous types of people and recently an alternative version of the doll has been created called Lamilly, who comes with cellulite, stretch marks, acne and even tattoos.

So, aside from being a much loved kids toy for generations, how much do you actually know about Barbie? Here are seven facts that may surprise you.

1. Some women have taken Barbie as a role model to the extreme as they transform to look like her, including one woman who has been branded theHuman Barbie’!  

2. Barbie is just a nickname, her full name is Barbara Millicant Robert, she comes from fictional Willows, Wisconsin and was born on 9th March 1959.

3. Since her introduction in 1959 Barbie has added more than 150 careers to her CV and each doll comes with the clothing and accessories to portray their career.  From the 50s to 60s these included a fashion model, nurse, tennis player and teacher.

She later became an Olympic athlete, Miss America, rock star, astronaut, oh and a doctor, just to name a few. One of her most recent careers is entrepreneur, complete with tablet and smart phone.

4. Barbie broke through the glass ceiling in 1985 as a business executive, travelled into space in 1965 – four years before man walked on the moon and has run for president six times since 1992 but never won an election.

5. Barbie’s first pet was a horse named Dancer, since then she has had more than 50 pets including cats, dogs, horses, a panda, a zebra, a chimpanzee and even a lion cub!   

6. The 1992 Totally Hair Barbie, who featured hair from her head all the way down to her toes, was the best selling Barbie ever.  Meanwhile the Holiday Barbie Doll continues to be the number one selling Barbie doll year after year.

7. There have been several controversial versions of Barbie across the years, many of which didn’t make it to the shelves or were pulled not long after they did.

These include an Oreo Barbie that cause uproar due to its racial connotations and a Barbie whose main accessory was dog poo and a pooper-scooper, that had to later be recalled due to loose magnets being a choking hazard

Barbie still remains as popular ever including Barbie being on a huge range of  popular clothing click here to see the amazing range ! For me I had Barbie as the step mother to my other dolls and my Nan actually worked for the rival company but I still had fun with the one Barbie ,that I actually did have though.

Discosure I have been compensated for this content.