Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Opinions on a colour please!

So we have finally chosen a colour for our Hall, stairs and landing. Cardomom. It only took us 2 months haha.

But now I already have my mind on a different project, The kitchen/dining room! A couple of Sundays ago we set about tidying and rearranging the dining end of our Kitchen. We foolishly thought it would take us a couple of hours, in reality it took us NINE!!!

We took down the breakfast bar we had put in about 5 years ago, during those 5 years it has been used for breakfast about 2 times! The rest of the time it has been a dumping ground for anything and everything! I then sorted (again) and moved the craft unit to the other end and this created a proper space for our table. Our table was good for two of us, but as a permanent table for four of us it just wasn't practical. So that evening I set about looking for a new table. I didn't have a big budget so looked on some local facebay groups. It must of been fate because within minutes of me logging on someone posted a really lovely solid wooden table and chairs set. A day went by, I went to look at it as the lady had told me it needed some restoration work doing to it. But I was pleasantly surprised that it was in fact only the Chairs that needed a bit of paint and varnish. Although in all honesty they are hardly worn at all and the small amount of marks on them make them look a bit Shabby Chic!

So now the table is in and looks lovely we need to decorate the dining area part of the kitchen. There are holes that need to be filled from where the breakfast bar was fitted but that is no problem.

Here are a couple of pictures of our strange angled Kitchen/Dining room

What I would love is suggestions as to what colour we should paint the dining end to make it separate from the kitchen end. When we moved in it was a new build and they were supposed to carpet the dining end but that never happened. Which i am glad about because its easier to clear food from a vinolay floor!! But at the same time it just makes it look like we have a long, strange angled kitchen!

So should we just paint a feature wall, the one that the table is against. Or should we paint the whole of that end differently? All the walls are magnolia in there at the moment, with the kitchen tiles cream and sea blue. I would really like a light colour that will go with the table. You cant see it in the pictures but the wall opposite the table has a book case which is similar colour to the table, plus a small radiator. Then the back door is on the back wall. Does anyone have any suggestions, I would love to hear them.

Monday, 25 February 2013

Half term fun!

WOW!! The last week has gone by so quickly! So quickly in fact that this is the first chance I have had to get on the laptop and blog!

Not only did Chester have the week off, I also had a week off work. Even though I only work evenings it was nice not to have to worry about what time we needed to be home by, and even nicer to no have to go to bed at almost midnight!!

So, what did we get up to all week? Well we started our half term week on the Saturday as Daddy was off too.
First of all I took Chester on a little bike ride, whilst Millie slept....

Then we decided it would be nice to have a family meal out so we went to a restaurant in Maidstone called Buddha Belly. It was recommended to me by a friend and I am so glad that we took her advice and went! It is one of those all you can eat buffet restaurants, but there is a difference. The cuisine is Chinese, Indian, Italian and Mexican and on the Chinese, Indian and Italian sections you can watch them cook your requested food fresh. Chester was amazed to watch them make a Naan bread for him! They had the usual things you would expect at a buffet restaurant but the cook while you wait food made a real difference to the experience. I loved the stir fry because I chose my noodles and veg before handing my plate to the chef and asking him to cook it with chicken and sweet and sour sauce. There were so many combinations and I didnt have to worry that there would be something in there that I wouldn't like!

With our belly's full we decided a little window shopping was in order to walk off some of the calories we had just gained! We decided to get Chester's hair cut in the barbers, he was not a fan as normally his Auntie Sarah cuts it for him!

Sunday, I am going to leave for another post, because I would love your opinions on something!

Monday, we made use of Cineworld's half term movies for Juniors. It was £1 per person or 90p if you sign up and book online. We decided to take Nannie and Grandad Pete with us, so for 5 of us it cost £4.50! We decided to see Rise of the Guardians, Millie slept most of the way through it but the rest of us thoroughly enjoyed it! Movies for Juniors are usually on Saturday and/or Sunday mornings, we try to take Chester (and sometimes Millie) as often as we can as it is such good value. The films shown are normally ones that have been on the cinema less than 6 months ago.

Tuesday was a very long day for Chester and Millie, I am so proud of how good they both were! We met up with a friend and her two boys at Bluewater shopping centre, as Early Learning Centre had advertised on their facebook page that they would be having lots of drawing activities going on. Sadly the drawing activities were a bit of a let down, but the boys and Millie still managed to have a good time. We then had some lunch and I had intended to pop into a couple of shops before heading home. However, I stupidly thought it would be a good idea to sort out my mobile phone contract whilst there so we actually ended up being at the shopping centre for just over 8 hours!!

After the exhausting Tuesday, Wednesday was a lovely day of rest! We pretty much stayed in our PJ's for the day!

Thursday we headed over to my Parents house, I was going out for Dinner with some friends in the evening and Chester and Millie were very excited to be spending time with Nannie Lala and Grandgrad Guy. We stayed at my parents on Thursday night, because on Friday Mum and I went to The Sanctuary Spa in Covent Garden for a lovely relaxing afternoon! We did a bit of relaxing but I have to admit that we spent lots of time trying to get on that famous swing in the pool! It was a little dangerous (I am pretty sure there are some health and safety issues!) but it was so much fun! We finished off the day by heading round to China Town for a yummy Chinese meal.

On Saturday I had a bit of a sulk as I knew it was my last day off! So it was a bit of a rest day!

Sunday morning I helped Chester make some bouncy balls, will a pack I got from the early learning centre. Chester loved making these so I am currently on the hunt for the pva crystal refills! It was then off to work for me, but while I was out Craig, Chester and Millie were busy making homemade Pizzas! They were so yummy that I have asked Chester to make them again another day!

So that was our half term, there was so much more on my list of things to do but sadly the time just went too quickly! How was your half term? Hope you had lots of fun!

Sunday, 17 February 2013

The tale of Millie and a strange lump!

I haven't blogged about what I am about to say before. The reason for this is that, understandably, as Millie's Mummy I was fearing the worst. So rather that write about it I decided to just try and put it to the back of my mind (which, by the way did not work) until the appointment date.

Shortly after Christmas I noticed that Millie had a strange little lump on her left side, under her ribs. Then on her birthday my Mum and Sister (who is a Nurse) also noticed it. Both said I should take her to get it checked out. So, the very next day I was sitting in the Doctors surgery waiting for Millie to be seen.

The Doctor agreed that the lump was a bit strange, she said that she definitely thought something was not right about it but she was not sure what. She then added that she was pretty sure it could not be Cancer as Millie was so happy. I have to say that comment probably made me worry even more because I had not even thought about Cancer. But now that she mentioned it and only said it probably was not Cancer was not reassuring enough for me. I was now sick with worry about my lovely little baby, who had only just turned one.

We were given an appointment date to see a paediatric Consultant for 4 weeks later. After a couple of days of really worrying, I snapped out of it slightly and (almost) put my sensible head on. I started to think, if it was Cancer surely she would of been seen sooner. After researching  I was correct, she would of been seen within 2 weeks if there was any concern of urgency. But there was still a niggle at the back of my head worring me about it. For lots of reasons, I think I must of imagined every diagnosis possible over the 4 weeks wait!

So, fast forward 4 weeks and we arrive to Friday, Not only the day for Millie's (late) 12 month jabs but also the day of her consultant appointment. We arrived just on time, thanks to our Doctors surgery running 25 Minutes late, even though we were first jab appointment (thanks for that!).

We were seen pretty quickly, the nurses and the consultant were fantastic. The consultant examined Millie and told me he thought that is was one of her ribs that had grown abnormally. Yes, the lump was rounded but it felt like it was part of the rib. So we were sent round to Xray department, where yet again the staff were fantastic with Millie and even though Millie got upset about it all she was still a very brave little girl.

The consultant had already explained to me that he would be getting another consultant to read Millie's Xray, as the other consultant was more experienced in that field. But he obviously sensed how concerned I was about the whole thing because he said I could come back after the Xray and he would quickly see us to have a little look at it. The Xray looked normal to me, he seemed ok with it but just as a precaution and whilst we wait for the official report from the other consultant he is going to make Millie an appointment for an ultrasound at another hospital. He is then going to see her for a follow up appointment in 4 months. Apparently if it is that her rib has grown abnormally it us just a case of monitoring her and making sure it does not cause any issues for her, he suspects that it will not cause any problems for her but it will always be abnormal.

So I came out of that appointment feeling very relieved. A bit like a weight had been lifted of my shoulders. Yes, I know we have not had a definite answer yet but I feel confident that the consultant is doing everything he can to make sure we get a very accurate diagnosis. I also feel confident that everything he said to me makes sense with the rib growing abnormally.

Millie chose herself a ballerina Dolly for being so brave and yesterday we all had a lovely family day, just the four of us together having lots of giggles.

I will of course keep you updated, but hopefully we will get the report from the Xray very soon, along with the ultrasound appointment!

Kids.... they do like to worry you don't they?!

My two cheeky monkey's!

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Our fun baking & crafts Valentines day!

Millie made some lovely Valentines cards and a salt dough heart during this week. Whilst Chester has been at Nursery School (doing no Valentines stuff) Millie has been at the local Sure Start Centre's having lots of fun getting messy!! This is what she made....

She also made a Purple and red card with lots more glitter!

So Chester and I have been planning for a few days now, what Valentines Day things we were going to make today. After lots of discussion we decided to make, heart bread, pink cupcakes and heart shaped oat cookies. We then got carried away and did some painting too!

We have had lots of giggles and fun today,its been lovely because Chester has loved showing Millie what to do and telling her all about Valentines day. Millie loved stiring the cake mixture and eating some paint!! Although I pretty sure she will love eating the cakes more! Both of the kiddies now can not wait for Daddy to get home so he can see what they have been busy making for him!!

So here is our day in Pictures....

So there you have it, that was our Valentines day 2013! I am working this evening so apart from the themed crafts with the kiddies it was just a normal day for me. No treats or nice dinner!! 

Hope everyone else has had a lovely Valentines day with lots of lovely surprises! 

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Personalised Valentines Day gift ideas!

I don't know about you but on Valentines day I like to find a present for hubbie that is a little bit different. hat better way to impress your loved one than by personalising a gift just for him or her?

Getting Personal is a personalised gifts website with loads of ideas for all sorts of occasions and for all age ranges. While looking for a Valentines present I came across their Purple Ronnie range. Now Purple Ronnie is quite old school, but as hubbie is 30 he will appreciate it. They have a big range including personalised mugs, personalised chocolate bars, personalised notebooks or even personalised pint glasses. Here are a few of my favourites:

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Tots100 Pancake Challenge

Tots100 have challenged bloggers to create their own unique pancakes for a chance to win a short break at Center Parcs, I didn't have to think very hard for this because we have a savoury family recipe that I used to eat as a child and now I feed it to my children!! In fact it is one of their favourite meals!

So my entry is........

Monday, 11 February 2013

Easy home made snow globe

Today, after weeks of Chester waiting for the honey jar to become empty (yes, I know I had visions of the 90's Fairy Liquid advert too) we were finally able to make a snow globe!

Chester has been asking for weeks if we can make a snow globe, I think he originally got the idea from a magazine. His interpritation of what he saw was to get a jar of water, and chuck some glitter and a Moshi Monster into it! Done! So I helped him to refine his idea, and this is what we did......

First we gathered a Jar, a bottle lid, some glitter and a Moshi Monster. The Jar works best if you use one with a slim lid such as a honey or jam jar. Also you can use any character, it doesn't have to be a Moshi Monster. For Millie I would use a small Minnie Mouse figurine. We made sure the Jar was clean and dry.

I then used super glue to stick the bottle lid onto the inside of the jar lid. Once that had dried I stuck the Moshi Monster onto the bottle lid. We then waited (a long) 3 hours to make sure the glue was completely dry.

Then we filled the jar up to 3 cm bellow the top with water. Chester was then allowed to add some glitter, he loved this part! We used 4 different coloured glitters as this is what Chester asked to do, we also used different sized flake glitter as I think the chunkier flake glitter works best.

I then sealed the lid with super glue and left for an hour or so for it to dry.
Then came the fun part! The first time you shake your globe you will have to shake it pretty hard or the glitter will stick to the figurine. The shaking of the globe was by far Chester's favorite part! He has since shock his globe more times than I care to count!

It cost hardly anything and was a really fun activity to do.

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Millie's first steps!

Well, this week Millie has managed to amaze me even more! On Wednesday, exactly one month after her first birthday Millie took her first steps! Admittedly I had to bribe her with my phone and a biscuit but she walked half way across the kitchen for me! She then gladly repeated for Daddy when he got in from work! The look on her face was fantastic, she was so proud of herself and I think she could see that I felt the same way!

Millie has been very steady standing for a little while now, so I kind of knew it wouldn't be long before she started to work out she could put one foot in front of the other. It did still bring a tear to my eye though, my baby is growing up even more!

Since Wednesday Millie has not really made a real effort to walk again. On Friday we went to a couple of baby music groups with a couple of her friends and she did do a few more confident steps, but not as many as she had done on Wednesday.

I don't want to push her to do it, I know that now she CAN do it, she will do it in her own time. Chester was nearly 19 months when he took his first steps so I know it will come properly in time, when she is ready.  I was however pleased to hear that whilst my parents baby sat for us this afternoon (so we could take Chester to see Wreck it Ralph, which is awesome by the way) she did do a few steps for them!

My mum is well known for always having a camera or video camera in her hand, so it wasn't a surprise when she told me that she had filmed Millie doing her favorite thing, dancing. Luckily whilst filming, Millie also took a few steps!

So here is the video of Millie getting her groove on and taking a few steps!!

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Finally been tipped over the edge

Well it was always going to happen, today I finally lost it over the state of our house. I have had enough. Is it to much to ask for everyone to just tidy up after themselves? Yeah, I know Millie is only one but I have been teaching her to put away her toys since she was born.

What finally tipped me over the edge was this. I had purposely left the random letters/magazines/toys on the sofa for a couple of weeks to see if others would realise that was not there home. Now I wont lie, a couple of the things on the sofa were mine, but the important things I wanted to keep to hand were on the arm of the sofa against the wall. So on Monday I couldn't stand it anymore and tidied it myself. Today it looks just as bad as it did prior to Monday!!!

I glanced over at the rest of the front room, to see that it looked like a toy store had just dropped a mass of toys via dumper truck into the middle of my floor. I look over my shoulder onto the window sil to see that even though I have asked 50 times already today Chester has still found it necessary to dump random things like moshi monsters and colouring pencils all over it. I then walk into the hallway, stuff on the stairs, coats on the banister and not in the cupboard (today, I am to blame for that) shoes spilling off the shoe cabinet, the walls still covered in tester paint pots because we still can not decide what colour scheme to go with. In to the cloakroom, and what a surprise. All the items of clothing that Chester was dressed in this morning, sprawled all over the floor. Lovely. Chester is well know for his inability to keep his clothes on for more than 2 hours at a time. It is a real struggle.

I then walked into the kitchen, where over the space of a week since I last spent hours tidying it, Chester has pretty much emptied the contents of his 8 draw arts and craft storage all over the table/floor/breakfast bar/some more floor. The games that slot nicely into a cupboard we have in the kitchen were, again, sprawled all over the floor. Getting to Millie's high chair was like a challenge on fun house.

I wont really go into detail about upstairs as that upsets me even more. But I will say that the good 2 hours I spent with Chester tidying his and Millie's room was a total waste of time.

Its really upsetting to see all the mess, I often think how did it come to this. Don't get me wrong, I know that with kiddies we are never going to have an immaculate house and I am ok with that. And I would also like to point out that our house is clean, its the tidiness that is the issue. But what really gets me down is the fact I tidy one room only to walk into another and see just as much work. Craig is good at helping with the housework, at times I would say he manages to do more of that than me. But when it comes to tidying I really am on my own, and I just can not do it anymore. In the last year I must of tidied the breakfast bar about 8 times, and each time it is used as a dumping ground again within days. We have probably only used it as a breakfast bar a handful of times since moving in.

I know that a lot of the problem comes from the fact that we have got too much stuff for the two bedroom house we live in. I am constantly getting rid of more stuff we no longer need, but it never seems to be enough. It does get me down that we live in a two bedroom house with only one reception room, and I so wish that I had not taken advice from others when we were looking for our first house. I really wanted a 3 bedroomed home, but everyone said no, get a two bedroomed and you can always sell and move when you need too. They said, you need to start at the bottom of the property ladder. But at that time almost 8 years ago it wasn't a problem to do that, we hadn't had a recession, in fact the property market was booming!

8 years on and with me no longer in full time work (I work part time in the evenings), it would be near on impossible for us to move right now. I need to be back into full time work for the mortgage companies to even consider us doing a sideways or upwards move. There is no way I could go back into full time work until both of the children are at school. The childcare costs would mean I would barely earn enough to cover them let alone anything else.

I am not saying I am perfect and always tidy away, we are all to blame but it is mainly me that does the tidying, I can not cope with it anymore.

I would love some ideas on how we can create more space or storage (on a small budget), I would also love some ideas on how we can sort this whole problem out. So if anyone has any please comment below, it would be much appreciated.

Ok, rant over. I must smile through it and get on with tiding the front room (again).

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Tots100 Printerpix competition (under 2 category)

Yesterday I noticed that Tots100 were running a competition to win a bridge camera, memory card and and extra £100 to spend on the printerpix website. Now as most of you know we are taking the kiddies on their first family holiday abroad later in the year to Orlando, Florida!! A bridging camera would be perfect for capturing all of those special moments!!! So this post is for the entry in the under 2's category.

The picture I have chosen (it took me hours to decide!) is one of Millie. Taken on the morning of her first birthday last month. It makes me smile every time I look at this picture! She is still in her PJ's, it was taken the moment we revealed all her birthday presents to her! She was so excited that she squealed, clapped her hands and done a little dance, that I could liken to a fast wiggle! She is such a happy baby and I think this picture captures that perfectly!

This photo is oneblueonepink's entry into the Printerpix Photo Competition. 

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

The MAD Blog Awards!

Wow I just can not believe it! Someone/some people have only gone and nominated me for not one but TWO categories in the MAD Blog Awards!!
MAD Blog Awards

For those of you who do not know about the MAD Blog Awards, I will try to explain as best I can. MAD stand for Mum and Dad, so the MAD Blog Awards are specifically to celebrate parent bloggers. It is in its 4th year now and is always very popular. This year there are 15 award categories, you can nominate in as many or as few as you like. Then once nominations have closed, nominations will be counted, the four eligible blogs in each category with the most nominations will automatically progress to the award finals. One other finalist will be chosen by the judging panel per category, meaning that less well know blogs still have an opportunity to reach the finals.

Then MAD Blog Awards will provide links to all the blogs that have made it to the awards finals and voting will open, you will then be able to vote for one finalist per category. Again, you can choose to vote in as many or as few categories as you link. The only exception to this is the Blog of the Year category, where the winner is chosen by the judging panel.

I am thrilled to bits to have been nominated in two categories, when I started blogging almost a year ago I never even imagined my blog would be worthy of an award nomination let alone two!! I am so very proud of my blog and how far it has come on in a year. I am extremely grateful to all of my loyal readers that take the time to read about our family life. I am really enjoying blogging and I love reading back over my posts and remembering all of the things we have been up to and remembering all of the kiddies milestones!

I have been nominated in Best Family Life and Best Family Fun I am so overwhelmed and pleased, especially as the nominations have been in those categories as that is what I try to make my blog all about. I would be really chuffed if I got more votes in those categories (or in any category you feel fits my blog the best).

So if you feel me and my blog deserve a nomination then please click here and vote for me!! Its a really easy form to fill in and will take no time at all, what will take the time is choosing who else to nominate, there are some fab blogs out there at the moment, I really struggled to choose who I was nominating! The nominations stage closes on February 18th 2013 so you have a little time to mull over who your nominations go to!

Good luck to all that have been nominated

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Yummy Flapjacks!

Chester is really into making things at the moment, whether it be arts and crafts or baking. Over the last few week, its baking that he has been mostly interested in. Especially Flapjacks!

So I thought I would share our recipe for Flapjacks with you.....

175g Butter
175g light brown sugar
4tbsp golden syrup
350g porridge oats
a few handfuls of chocolate chips

Line a 28cm x 18cm tin with some baking/greaseproof paper and pre heat the oven to 180C (350F, gas mark 4). In a small saucepan melt together the butter, sugar and golden syrup. Put the oats into a large mixing bowl,

then add the melted ingredients.

 Stir the mixture until the oats are fully coated.

 Put the mixture into the lined tin and press down/spread out with the back of a spoon. We then sprinkled some handfuls of chocolate chips on top (we have also tried with dried fruit such as apricots or raisins both worked really well, if you were going to add fruit I would say add it to the mixture and stir rather than sprinkling on top)

Bake in the middle of the oven for 25 minutes until it is golden brown. Leave to cool for 10 minutes then whilst it is still in the tin, cut it into squares (you should get around 12) leave to cool completely before carefully taking out of the tin.

The flapjacks have been a real success here, they are cheap to make, not overly unhealthy for you and they give the kiddies some slow release energy too! I should point out, the reason I do not just pour the oats into the saucepan to mix is because Chester is very hands on and wants to help, I do not want him to get scalded so I find it much safer to pour the hot mix into the mixing bowl and then hand over to Chester to stir.I have also upped the ingredients quantities if I am using a bigger tin, the other day I upped the ingredients by a third and it made about 22 flapjacks.  If anyone has any other flapjack filling ideas then I would love to hear about them as I can see this obsession lasting a while!

I am joining in with A new Additions recipe of the week linky, why not click through and get some more fab ideas?!