Friday, 19 October 2012

5 Random Facts About Yourself

So clearly I've not blogged for a while. I guess I just ran out of time what with starting a seriously intensive course at collage, the kids being back at school and all the other random things life throws at you just when you think its safe to feel happy and settled. 

So when Alice over at Mums Make Lists tagged me in this 5 Random Facts About Yourself Meme I took the opportunity to sit down and just write something short in an attempt to get my mojo flowing again. 

What you have to do... 

  • Post 5 random facts about yourself 
  • Choose 5 other deserving blogs with less than 200 subscribers to nominate and link their blogs in your post - but no tag backs to whoever nominated you 
  • Tell your nominees you have chosen them for this award by leaving a comment on their blogs and if you like on Twitter. 

Heres my 5... 

  1. I love all things American 
  2. In softball I'm what's known as a 'switch hitter' meaning that I can hit the ball with the bat both right and left handed 
  3. I'm slightly obsessed with Twilight 
  4. I'm possibly the worlds biggest Foo Fighters fan
  5. I love 80's pop music

These are the 5 lovely bloggers who I have decided to tag...

Also just because I can ;) ...

and finally because who wouldn't want to look 18 forever?

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

MEDIA: Ben Folds Five and .... The FRAGGLES! New Video

What a blast from the past! Anyone who, like me, was a child of the 80s will appreciate the Fraggles contribution to Ben Folds Five's new music video for their single 'Do it anyway'. 

Eagle eyed readers will also notice that girl off of twilight (Anna Kendrick) and also that bald guy off of Harold and Kumar Go To Whitecastle/Get The Munchies, depending on which side of the Atlantic you are! I do hope this means The Fraggles will be rebooted onto the silver screen sometime soon!  Hope you enjoy this little blast from the past!

Friday, 4 May 2012

MUMS FASHION: Boutique Babylon, Wilmslow

It's happened to all of us at some point hasn't it? You've been invited to an event but your 'go to' LBD is looking a bit disheveled since its last outing and you need a dress or top that is stylish but doesn't break the bank. You could try M&S or the local Dorothy Perkins for a quick fix but really? Who wants to turn up at an event where at least one other lady will be wearing the same outfit? Not me that's for sure!

This is why I am so glad that Boutique Babylon opened its fabulous fashion boutique on Bank Square, Wilmslow in November last year.

Store owner, Jason Lyons who is a Wilmslow resident with 20+ years experience in the fashion retail industry told me "We know at Boutique Babylon that not everyone has an endless budget for fashion which is why we have a fabulous range of clothing for you to choose from." He certainly wasn't kidding - the choice is an eclectic mix of modern and vintage style pieces that range from Top Shop prices to designer buys to lust for.

Jason also stocks UK based designers such as Pussycat and Jasime London. Its great to see young British design talent available at such affordable prices.

The staff are attentive and knowledgeable about the current seasons key pieces without being pushy or rude. The customer service here is a very high standard which is so hard to find.

My own wardrobe is quickly filling up with key fashion pieces from Boutique Babylon, problem is I can never decide which outfit to wear when I want to go out!

Here are my latest acquisitions from the shop:
Yumi Aztec dress £49
Stars & Strips USA Shiffon Tee £25.00
Next time you're in Wilmslow call into Boutique Babylon and be tempted by their beautiful and stylish ladieswear range.

Enjoy, Angie x

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Oblivious couple flaunts foul ball in front of enraged toddler

I saw the above clip posted to a friends wall on Facebook by someone I've met once or twice and to the best of my knowledge does not have kids. She also posted it with a comment of 'Very good. Teach children that whenever they cry they get what they want.' 

Now normally I'm completely with her on that comment, any sane grown up giving into a child's temper tantrum may work in the short term but in the long term its only going to create more problems than it solves. Perhaps the poster was trolling for comment or maybe she had not actually watched the video in full otherwise I think she would have commented differently. 

The video clearly shows, and the commentators do note this, that the child's dad reached to get the ball which landed right at his feet but the older gentleman on his right picked up the ball - practically out of the toddlers hands, and presented it like a trophy to his girlfriend who holds the ball and poses for photos. The players in the dug out toss a new ball up to the toddler - the whole thing is played out over the giant TV screens and everything. 

If the kid was a few rows away then fair play but they were right next to them. The dad and child were reaching for the ball then it was snatched away by the man. We teach our kids not to snatch right? 

So do you agree or do you think that the child should have been given the ball? I'm interested to see if my reasoning is biased as I am a parent or maybe not?

Oh yes and be sure to listen out for the commentators joke at the end of the clip. Classic ;)

Angie x

FUSSY FOOD: Honey and Lemon Thyme Roast Chicken & Triple Choc Cherry Brownies

Rowse Honey are saying thank you to bees by planting thousands of 'bee friendly' plants. 

If you follow them on Facebook you can submit your own thank you note for the bees. Then the lovely people at Rowse will transfer the note onto a plant marker, plant it in a field with all the other thank you noted plants and send you a photo of your plant on facebook. Heres my plant.

I chose my favourite Victor Hugo quote for my thank you. The plant marker reads 'Thanks #BusyBees for life if the flower for which love is the honey ~ Victor Hugo. Love Angie x'

So with a jar of Rowse Honey in the cupboard and a roast chicken in the fridge I decided to have a look at their recipes to find some inspiration for Sunday lunch.

Wow lots of lovely recipes and I finally settled on this one for Honey and Lemon Thyme Roast Chicken

I was quite pleased with what turned out to be a very quick easy roast chicken recipe. It would be delicious cooked over chicken breasts for a midweek tea or as a marinade in the summer for BBQs. This is how it turned out. I was surprised how out of this world the chicken tasted given that the recipe and preparation takes all of 10 minutes!

For pudding I made the girls their favourite triple choc cherry brownies - sorry the recipe I can't part with all I will say its from a website but I'm not telling which one. Yes, it's very selfish but I've never tasted a better brownie and it even gets a 'just like mom bakes' thumbs up from my Californian boss! 

The only thing I will tell you is the pan is a proper double walled brownie pan from Lakeland (where else?).

Enjoy, Angie x

Fussy Food: Swedish Meatballs and New Potatoes with Fizzy Raspberry Trifle

No Visit to IKEA is complete without a visit to their Swedish Food Market. They stock lots of delicious Swedish delicacies and drinks. With this in mind I went to IKEA at Ashton-Under-Lyne on Friday after school to pick up a few bits from IKEA and some Swedish food. 

When we got home we tucked into a very Swedish meal of meatballs, boiled baby new potatoes and peas with lashings of Gräddsås and Sylt Lingon!

You can buy frozen meatballs, Gräddsås in packets that you just add water and cream, and also Sylt Lingon. 

Gräddsås is not only delicious with meatballs but it also works with beef and pork. We had it at Christmas with our Turkey and it was a very nice change from the normal Bisto blend. 

Sylt Lingon is actually a jam made from Lingonberries. These berries grow wild throughout the forests of Sweden and taste scrummy with meatballs or crispbread with cheese. The girls like it on pancakes with vanilla ice cream. 

Unfortunately the food market is not available to purchase online so you would have to visit your nearest store to buy these. 

For pudding I made some cute and healthy mini trifles. I made 'fizzy' raspberry jelly in the little pots then just before serving I spooned on fat free natural yoghurt then topped with slices of strawberry and banana. 

Tonight's dinner was a big hit! DD3 and DD5 both said they could eat it all again :) 

Enjoy, Angie x

Thursday, 26 April 2012

The Smiths Not To Reform :'(

I don't know about you but a few weeks ago I got all excited that there might be a chance, albeit slim to none, that The Smiths would reform. Their only caveat in March at the NME Awards being that Johnny Marr would reform the Smiths if David Cameron's coalition government steps down. 

Fast forward to today, when I logged onto my Facebook account after work and saw this:  
Source: Johnny Marr's official Facebook account
Urgh. Got my hopes up and everything! So very disappointed :'(

If this is the first time you've heard that the rumours have been denied then I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news but for all my fellow Smiths fans out there heres a clip off of the wonderful Youtube to enjoy while you're crying for your loss...

Enjoy, Angie x

Monday, 23 April 2012

Fussy Food: Sausages with Orzo Pasta and Easy Homemade Tomato Sauce

My kidlets, as I imagine most kidlets, are notoriously fussy eaters. Food they adore one week will inevitably by despised the next! So I try to find something they all like and try to get them all to eat a little bit of everything. Occasionally I get it right and they practically inhale everything on their plates before I've sat down to eat mine. 
Grandma and Granddad arrive home from work about 6.30pm so its too long to make the girls wait just so they can eat with them. 
Tonight I made sausages with Orzo Pasta and easy home made tomato sauce. I served peas, carrots and sweetcorn and the kids favourite - baby new potatoes on the side.

The Orzo Pasta looks like really big rice flakes. It says 8 mins on the packet for cooking time and they really do need 8 minutes and not a minute longer or it sticks together with starch just like over cooked rice!
The tomato sauce is simple to make and almost cooks itself. 

Ingredients for 4 kidlets or 2 adults:
2 tbsp of olive oil
1 can of chopped tomatoes
2 bay leaves
1 small finely chopped onion
2 finely chopped or crushed garlic cloves

Take a saucepan and add 2 tbsp olive oil
Add chopped onions and garlic cloves and gently heat on a low heat for a couple of minutes to soften the mix.
Add the chopped tomatoes and bay leaves. 
Bring to the boil and as soon as it does turn the heat right down and simmer, stirring occasionally - don't let it stick, for approx 20-30mins until the excess water has evaporated and leaves a thick tomato sauce.
Remove bay leaves before serving.

This is also a lovely basic pizza topping!

So how did it go? Well thankfully they inhaled the lot. Really. I'm not even kidding. DD5 finished hers before I had finished serving the older girls meals. Glad she liked it though.

Pudding was coconut macaroons and a slice of Victoria sponge with yummy custard. My camera decided it didn't want to take any more photos and stopped working in protest so have no pics for this so you will have to  use your imagination!

What meals do your kidlets love? What can they eat no matter how often you make it? 

Love, Angie x

Saint Georges Day

Saint George

As it is St Georges day today I thought the kids would probably not hear about it in school but we would do something to fill in that gap when I'm making the tea and the girls are making mischief.

So I went to my old friend Google and asked for colouring in sheets to print off so the littlest kidlets could colour them in while I made their dinner. 

Google sent me first to the ever amazing Activity Village website which, if I'm honest, I was surprised at because I had always thought they were an American website but wherever its based they had a whole host of St Georges day pictures to colour in and plenty more in the Medieval theme on offer. I was spoilt for choice! Here's the link for St Georges Day colouring in pictures on Activity Village.

DD5 chooses one of each page I printed so predictably DD3 also chooses one of everything I've printed out too. 

As DD5 coloured in the picture of St George we talked about how just like Jesus, Saints are always pictured with a yellow halo around their heads. DD5 remembered the Nativity story book had a gold halo around Baby Jesus head and wanted to use gold but the gold crayon looked silly so she stuck to to yellow. 

We talked about castles and wouldn't it be nice to live in one.

We talked about the England flag being different to the United Kingdom flag because its just the red cross instead of the combination of England's St Georges cross and Scotland's blue cross. Not sure if DD5 got it though!

DD3 had already made a flag at nursery school but the others did not cover St Georges day at all. It's a shame because the schools made a fuss on St Patricks day. If anyone wonders where our sense of pride for our country has gone I think well no wonder if its not even celebrated in our English schools!

I'm interested to see how widespread this is. There's tonnes of crafty ideas, colouring in sheets and materials for parents and teachers to use and get kids involved with the day so really there's no excuse on the grounds of having lack of materials or ideas to use.

Have your kidlets been talking about or crafting about St Georges day today? Did their school or nursery talk about it or was it something left for parents at home?

Leave me a comment - I'd love to hear what your kidlets got up to today. 

Angie x

The Hairy Plug Monster by Leighroy Marsh

The Hairy Plug Monster by Leighroy Marsh and Samuel Perry

The Hairy Plug Monster is a wonderful rhyming book. The book is very much in the style of Dr Seuss and Julia Donaldson (The Gruffalo) so fans of that style of writing will be very pleased with this book. 

The illustrations by Samuel Perry are in a 'slightly' dark gothic cartoon style - think Coraline, Nightmare Before Christmas and Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and you've hit the nail on the head. 

The story is about how a curious little girl makes friends with The Hairy Plug Monster and they have a late night escapade in the house while everyone else is fast asleep. 

DD5 really likes this book - particularly when the Hairy Plug Monster has a silly but posh voice ;) in fact, after reading 2 previous copies until the pages fall out and now buying another, I think its safe to say that The Hairy Plug Monster has to be DD5's favorite bed time book.

This wonderful book costs from £5.39 on Amazon and is a fantastic addition to any girl or boys bedtime library.

Enjoy, Angie x

Sunday, 22 April 2012

The Night Before The Afternoon After

So the kidlets are at their dad's house tonight and have been since Wednesday. This has given me enough time to do lots of important things to get ready for their homecoming on Monday after school.

So when they go to their dads for the weekend their bedrooms get a through top to bottom clean. The beds are stripped and laundered, floors vacuumed and everything dusted. 

So I'm about half way through and thinking about all the other things we do...

For DD5's room, she likes to have her bed all tucked around the mattress and she simply must have her favourite toys lined up in just the right order. DD3 isn't as fussy as long as her blankie is on her bed cleaned and ready for her. It's basically a 20cm square piece of fleece that came off an Upsy Daisy toy. The fleece is all that remains and is what she only played with when we bought the toy. 

Most expensive comforter ever. 
The eldest 2 girls DD10 and DD8 are easier to please as long as a, I don't use their perfume (who wants to smell like Selena Gomez anyway?!) b, read their diaries (apparently there's swearing in DD10's) and c, well, make sure their beds have clean sheets! 

All last week DD10 was telling me about Pirate themed homework and she's chosen to research Anne Bonney. I was looking for DVDs to watch on Thursday night in Tesco and saw they had in a pirate cartoon all about the legendary, fearless pirate queen. She will be thrilled to bits with that I'm sure. 

Also I need to find where DD10 & DD8 have hidden their stash of paint swatches to redecorate their bedroom that they share here. After 3 1/2 years of renting a house then moving in with my folks it does mean that the girls are finally able to decorate their bedrooms just the way they want them. They are all kinds of excited to be able to decorate particularly as Grandma said they can paint without her help - like that's ever going to happen!

So we do all these little unsung things all the time for our kids but if we didn't do them I'm sure they would let us know the score.

Well, its about time to get back to putting those duvet covers on their beds so adieu to you and you and you :)

Angie x

New Beginnings

Thursday, 12th April 2012 will remain with me forever. Its the day I moved my family to live with my parents. 

As a single mum to 4 busy little people I found it hard to combine all my energy and attention on raising 4 little wonders. I was spreading myself too thin and needed help. Fast. 

So now as I write this 10 days later am I happy with the decision? Do I think it was the right thing to do or had all my preparations since November 2011 been for nothing?

It has turned out to be the best decision I've made for a long time. I now have the support of two of the dearest people in my world and know that I can focus my energy on working and raising my little people the best that I can. 
So hopefully, in 10 weeks, months and years time I will be able to say 'Yes, that was the best decision I ever made' :) 

I will be mainly posting on the blog about my girls, what they're doing, eating, reading, playing with etc etc. When the girls aren't around the blog will be about other things that I think would interest other parents like me. 
So welcome to the blog, hope you can stay awhile and have a good read! 
Enjoy, Angie x
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