Tuesday 27 September 2016

Broccoli topped wild thyme lamb stew

Today I have been a crocodile , been on a fairy picnic ,been chased by a lion and performed imperative dance. 

You'd be forgiven for thinking I've lost the plot , it certainly feels like it at times !. I'm actually a teaching assistant but lately I've been putting in a few more hours . Teachers and teaching assistants work very hard ~

We are our own glitterballs!!

So with that in mind I prepared dinner in the slow cooker before I left for school . 


500 g lamb neck (cut into chunks )will serve about 3-4 people 

Pinch of wild rhyme 

Pinch of salt 

About 4 red onions chopped ( the more onions the better )

Squirt of BBQ sauce 

3 bay leaves 

1 cinnamon stick 

300 ml or there bouts of chicken stock



You could braise the lamb if you wish .

Pour the 300 ml of chicken cook into a slow cooker , next put into the lamb .

Add the onions , wild thyme , bay leaves and cinnamon sticks , bay leaves .

Squeeze in that BBQ sauce .

Don't forgot the pinch of salt .

Leave the slow cooker in slow and Ho work your magic for the day .

When I got home I prepared some fresh broccoli (as I think left in the slow cooker it would have got too soft )

I stirred in some cornflour to thicken up the stock.

Serve if you wish perhaps with a jacket potato .

As the sky blended into a sherbet dip colour ~ I thought life is ok ...

Saturday 24 September 2016

Pedalling Beyond

Sometimes you've just got to peddle faster than the sunset to keep ahead of the light.

I took myself on a new route and even though we had other cyclists over taking us > maybe a runner or 2 ) it didn't matter . Not everything in life has to be at 200 mph . 

You need time to sit or in my case ride out of things to press the reset button in yourself . When everything has fallen apart and you need to regroup , reevaluate , anything else that is prefixed by " re"

I cycle , I ding my bell I relax .

Friday 23 September 2016

Exercising At Work

Sometime the work life balance can be hard ! you rush round before you go to work either organising everyone else before yourself , or maybe getting the slow cooker meal ready for when you all get home. And then after all that rushing around you go to sit at perhaps a desk for most of your working day , wondering when on earth you can fit in exercise ! I am a teaching assistant so I do my fair chair of running around but I do have times when I am working on a computer etc  ( more so at home )

You 'll have seen the news about how an hour of exercise at work can contribute towards a healthy lifestyle  so why not get our furniture at work to help us ?!

I will be making sure that I participate in all this exercise particularly the seated double hamstring as the legs and feet can be awfully twitchy at times.

I am amazed at my mother in laws fitness she is coming up for 90 and she puts me to shame , she does the same set of exercises each day to keep her as sharp as a pin. I will also add to this she is visually impaired and her determination and sense of drive just blows me away.

This is a collaboration post all thought words and recipe are my own.

Thursday 22 September 2016

Meet Pamela From Life With the Munchers ~ Bloggers In The Spotlight

I first entered the blogging world back in 2013, when I began writing our family journey at Life With Munchers.  Since then, I have adapted to include interiors, travel and general lifestyle posts as our family story have evolved quite a bit over the 3 year period.  Getting into to blogging has been a life saver for me, as when I was made redundant from the oil industry it gave me a 'job' to fall back on that was flexible to our situation at the time. 

Since I began blogging full time, I have collaborated with a number of other bloggers on various projects...from you tube channels to other blogs.  That experience online bolstered my 12 year plus marketing background and led me to start my own marketing company in Aberdeen, AB Fiftyone,  in July this year.  I now offer local and nationwide companies day to day marketing support, as well as work with them to develop a strategy for their online presence, whether that requires social media, blogger outreach or content creation.

It’s a really exciting time to be starting a marketing company, as the world of media has never been so changeable.  Companies are finding that their resources are being stretched as they make the move online and are in turn looking for a solution such as AB Fiftyone to help them plan the next step. 
Personally it’s been a bit of a whirlwind few years, but a journey that builds character!  No 2 days are the same, which keeps me on my toes and makes the whole experience exciting.  One day I can be working on a blog campaign for a nationwide furniture retailer and the next day filming a you tube video for a local company, then writing a detailed business review - developing and implementing a marketing strategy to help them take their business where they want to go. 
Although it’s a start of a new chapter for me, I’m looking forward to what lies ahead.
Facebook: /abfiftyone
Twitter & Instagram: @abfiftyone

Wednesday 21 September 2016

Beautifully Spiced Haddock With Chickpea And Broccoli Mash

It's been 3 days since we returned from Spain and the realisation that we can't pop down to the all inclusive buffet is just hitting us now .


  • 2 pieces haddock 
  • 3 tbsp Soured cream or natural yogurt 
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • Good pinch salt
  • 1 tbsp other mixed herbs 
  • For the mash:
  • 10g Butter or low fat spread / mixed with the garlic 
  • 1tsp lemon juice
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 400g can chickpeas, drained 
  • I bunch of broccoli 
  • 1 tbsp of soured cream or natural 

You will need to mix  the soured  and garam masala together with the salt & combined herbs .  You can either place the haddock onto a plate and coat completely with the sour cream / yogurt mixture, leave to marinade for 10-15 mins. You could heat a grill to a moderate to high heat and cook the fish for 4-5 mins until cooked . Or as I did a pan poach the fish in the sour cream / yogurt mixture for 5-7 minutes . 

While the fish was cooking I boiled the broccoli , drained and set it aside . I heated up a can of chickpeas next I drained them and added the broccoli . I mashed them up adding in the tablespoon of soured cream or natural yogurt and spread / butter with garlic . Not forgetting the squeeze of lemon juice and grind of black pepper .

Educational Quizzes To Aid Your Child

I have lost count in previous years of how much I spent on educational books to aid my child with his studies all the way from when he was in KS1 right up to KS3. Technology and websites even Apps have all come to the forefront in education and children seem to find these more fun , once at dinner last year I thought my son was just messing round with his phone at dinner when he was actually studying a GCSE app !

There are times in your child lives when you want to give them a boast perhaps in transition from EYFS ( nursery /reception) to KS1 , when they take their SATS as this can be a fraught time . Particularly in Year 6 I remember my son getting very stressed with the SATs so much so they made SATS monsters , and in the end he didn't do them as there was a strike.

I personally like with the website how it is split in the subject areas so your child and yourself can study at your leisure. The primary objective of the website is to help children be successful at school , study of the schools curriculum's is made easy and enjoyable with suites of KS1,KS2, 11-Plus, KS3 and GCSE quizzes.

All the quizzes are written by teachers.

The Education Quizzes subscriptions are £9.95 a month and you can subscribe for as long as you like with no catches , I think the quizzes are excellent especially as i work in a school with KS1 ( I work with year 1 )

You don't have to spending hours quizzes with your child , I think little and often is the best policy as children have already had a full day of learning at school .

One of the subject areas I struggled with myself at school was numeracy so I wish I had access to a resource like this , it would have made learning my Times Tables so much easier ! and in return opened a smoother gateway to learning  further within numeracy.

I love that with the GCSE section on English Literature that everything is broken down into bitesize chunks making what the child has to learn slightly less daunting ! And again not only is this an aid to the childs learning but to the parents as well as education can be very confusing at times but the right tools it doesn't have to be.

Disclosure : This is a sponsored post all thoughts words and opinions are my own.

Tuesday 20 September 2016

What Sort OF Character Has Your Cat Got ?

What sort of character has your cat got ?

Rollie has quite a calculating side to him and he is a very sleek male, he lives on his nerves , he is very much like his owner =me except for the sleek bit ( something wrong there ) 

Rollie is sulking this week for some unknown reason and is refusing to sleep in the bottom basket of his bunk beds, yes I am the owner that has bunk beds for their cats. Believe me we have gone through all sorts of sleeping arrangements for Rollie as he is very fickle . ( I have to admit I am very fickle over my pillows which always seem to die on me ! why is that ? )

Tabby cats are very distinct and Rollie is a Silver Tabby , he doesn't have the posh pets papers but we don't tell him that ! He won't do anything unless he has to and that includes meowing to get out of a door. Rollie won't set on my lap but will sit on my husbands this could be as my husband has the cats treats ..

Rollie has got a wild personality and is free spirited and will do what he likes when he likes with a side order of kindness thrown in. HE won't commit to a decision unless he really has to , * this is really sounding a lot like me.

The unknown scares me and he won't venture far especially in winter ( I mean you aren't like to see him on a flight to Barbados )

Rollie has a habit of destroying my sons homework by throwing up on it / biting holes in it.

Awwwh Rollie you rebel we love you . 

Saturday 17 September 2016

Holidays Tips

Remember the summer holidays? Despite the fact we’re only a few weeks into the school term, it feels like a long time ago already! But, one thing that does stand out as clear as day is the fact that plenty of children struggle to get back into the rhythm of learning when they’ve been off for so many weeks.

It doesn’t matter what a child’s ability level is or what their additional needs might be: ‘brain drain’ (where everything you’ve taught them seemingly flew off out the window when the holidays began!) affects them all. But really, it’s not surprising, is it? After all, you’d be pretty rusty too if you didn’t do your job for six weeks!

So, with that in mind, it can be useful for parents, teachers and teaching assistants to have a few tricks up their sleeves to help childrens’ minds stay sharp when they’re not in a formal learning environment. The tips below (suggested by Hope Education) are just as good for the school half term or Christmas holidays as they are for a summer break, so see if anything below strikes your fancy… and give it a go when it’s time for the next school holiday! 

This is a collaborative post 

Saturday 10 September 2016

Preparing Your Child For University

I think training your child for university goes something like this 

"Mum I've got the ice cream out "

Silent pause 

"Mum can I have Ice cream please "

See I've just got to cut out the middle wo(man) so I said to my son 

"Why don't you after you've got ice cream out , why not scoop it yourself ?"


There you have GCSE cookery and won't scoop out his own ice cream ...

But if you think about it , really hard and deeply it is clinging onto that last bit of helicopter parenting before they head off to university next year. I've never been a real helicopter parent I mean I was the one who unceremoniously dumped them at Beavers whilst they were crying and said to my husband 

"Let's leg it "

I think that style of parenting is called cave wo(man) parenting where the child battles for their survival .... 

And my son he's survived ~ he turns 18 next week so I've done good :D

But he'll be bringing his washing home from university as its £2.00 a wash £1.00 to dry ! that's if he's more local !

Any how's preparing your child for university starts at the welcome talk ~ they can be underwhelming and you would be fogiven for thinking at times you're at a 1980s wedding venue !

All it needed was for Kevin Bacon to leap up and start dancing !!

" Everyone cut Footloose "

But 1980s underwhelming type venues give way to departmental talks and you know they've made the right choice in their subject. And that's the important part knowing they've made the right choice and helping them analyse it all .

And when my son goes next year to university , I'll still be ready to scoop his ice cream . It's his way of saying I think 

" You're my mum , forever my mum"

Excuse me I've something in my eye .

Friday 9 September 2016

Chase The Sunlight Like None is Watching

Chasing the last dabbled glow of summer throught the trees , feel like warmth like a millions hugs swirl around me . Knowing everything is within my grasp being the creator of my own desires.

"I don't have to be liked to know I am perfect "

Is what I wrote on my Facebook status the other day , you see I use my social media to empower myself , yes I may occasionally worry .... * possible not true

But the photos I take are the windows to my soul , they light me up and I feel free and so relaxed , I take this over the real world anyway.

The woods feeling like an exotic jungle !

The lure of the sunshine is a magnet to me and I like a hummingbird to nectar flutter quickly to seek it out , for I can not rest until I have seen in my minds eye the perfect shot. It doesn't neessarily have to be a shot that I take with my camera but if I love the shot within my minds eye that I can create a happy memory attached to that moment in time.

I chase the sunlight till the sun goes down , I forever chase my dreams and if I don't achieve them one day then I will go out the very day and seek them again.

Tuesday 6 September 2016

Hotter Shoes Mystery Boots Review

Last night I was invited to the Hotter shoe shop in my city of Derby for a Blogger event. This Autumn Hotter shoes are inviting you to fall back in love with their Hotter Originals: handpicked by their founder Stewart Houlgrave as the much loved styles are the true embodiment of their Comfort Concept.

They are Shake,Sugar,Tone,Leanne,Whisper,mystery, Jewel, and Lance.

We were allowed to choose a pair of shoes or boots and if we choose a pair that  came from the Originals range were allowed to have a bag too. Now I don't usually use a handbag as I reserve the for high days and holidays but now I wouldn't be without my bag. The other day we all went out to the garden centre as a family : my husband patted his pockets and yep he had his keys or so we though. My son and I hadn't taken our keys as we thought my husband had so after a lovely trip to the garden centre completed with a Holly Bush and cake we arrived home to find that what my husband thought was his keys was in fact change. And neither or my son had keys after much deliberating and shakes of fists at the world we had to pay £69 for a Locksmith to get us back in ! SO now I will alway take a small back with me in which my house keys will sit !

The Asher handbag which is leather and priced at £65 

Hotter is the UK's biggest shoes manufacturer - making a pair of shoes every 20 seconds.

We were welcomed with drinks and nibbles ( *calorie free ) *might not be true 

In February 2010 there were 5 Hotter stores- today there are over 80.

Hotter shoes taking care of Sonia ( Mummyloves blogger ) on her birthday !

Secret #ComfortConcept features in every pair include cushioning, flexibility,lightness & wiggle room for toes.

The soles of the shoes made in the Hotter factory are filled with millions of air bubbles.

Hotter started making slippers now they make shoes as well as comfortable slippers.

Hotter shoes have #comfortconcept features in every pair include wiggle room for toes.

Perfect Hotter Shoes box for Jack !

I decide to take my review Mystery Boots out for a walk in my local woods and they didn't disappoint me with their comfort.

The Mystery Boots are £89 and have a full zip for easy wear.

Head back past the farm catching sight of my favourite short of traffic jam ~! A tractor jam ! 

Disclosure ~ I was invited to an event where I as Mentioned got to choose a pair of Boot and matching handbag, The cat is my own .

Friday 2 September 2016

Twice Baked Apples Stuffed With Blackberries

I was fortunate enough to be send a hamper of sugar for baking with , as Autumn is just about upon us now we usually find ourselves in search of soul food that fills us up and keeps us warm through the Autumnal nights. Food that is just enough to take the edge of the coolness of the breeze that whistles past our faces and our feet crunch upon slightly crunchy leaves. A walk that leads to the joy of blackberry picking that is nothing better than foraging.

I had two lonely cooking apples left the others had been baked in an obligatory first Apple and blackberry crumble.


Two or more cooking apples or any large apples cored

Light Brown Sugar (I was using Whitworths Light Brown Sugar)

Handful of blackberries


I sprinkled 2 teaspoons of the Whitworths Light Brown sugar into each apples you can increase or decrease this according to personal taste.

I preheated the oven to 180c then placed the apples in a suitable roasting dish for 20 minutes.

Whilst the apples were baking the placed the two handful  of Blackberries in about a table spoon and a half of Whitworths Light Brown Sugar.

After this time take the apples out of the oven and place equal apples of the sugared blackberries  in each apple. Then place back in the oven for about 10 minutes.

After this time take the apples out you will noticed the blackberries have  created a blackberry sugary syrup which you can spoon over the apples once they have been placed into serving bowl.

Serve with your choice of cream, ice cream or custard or just enjoy on its own.

SO I hope to encourage you  to get baking and encourage have your own office bake off! Whitworths produced a bespoke Facebook app with a creative ‘all you would need’ #GOBO tool kit, please use this to launch your own office bake-off and encourage your colleagues to get involved!

Disclosure I received a hamper of sugars in order to develop some recipes and will receive a fee for doing so.

The Glad Game

I'll defend how am I .

Happy or sad.

I am not the world's great optimist nor do I think I should be otherwise ; optimistism is a tool I use to make myself happy. My gladness at time is not a state of mind but the result of practice, which becomes stronger with practice.

I am not always cheerful but my willingness to play the "Glad Game " is a necessity in my world and although the gladness may take a while to wash over me , it is receiving to for it to do so. I am going beyond positive thinking , beyond me my very own happiness guru , I am more of a wellness adventurer.

The "Glad Game " which is from the beloved book Pollyanna is a perfectly sensible technique for finding happiness , this is a pursuit in mainstream culture academia and the like that has tuned into a bonafide obsession.

Perhaps happiness can be annoying to some.

I care not a frustrated frog !

I think the government had a happiness index and probably there is a Happiness mister  ?!


after some hooligans decided to play football at 2 am near my house the other night, the cat got into a loud fight, the bank stopped my card ( fraud pattern Ocado ) and an possible Ebay swindle .

I am plying my "Glad Game " to the max as I 'll be honest it can't get any worse can get ( add in flight delay at start of week )

OOH look a dead mouse

Marvellous .

Let me glad it is not a gazelle.