30.5.13

Sprinkly Chocolate Slice {Recipe}

*Disclaimer: I am (now) aware that 'sprinkly' is not a word (thanks Helen). But it totally should be, and I like if the words 'sparkly' and 'spiky' exist then so should sprinkly.

I've already shared our Marshmallow Pops and now is the turn for these tasty beasts.

You will need:
Puff pastry. I used Jus' Rol Puff Pastry sheets.
Chocolate spread. I used Nutella.
A bar of chocolate for melting on top. I used a basic Sainsburys bar.
Sprinkles.
Egg wash

This is so simple.
Lay out your pastry sheet and divide into 6 pieces, or more if you want to make mini bitesize slices (great for a picnic I think).
Spread Nutella onto one half of each divided piece, then fold over and press the edges together. Mark around the edges with a fork. I probably used a tablespoon or two of Nutella for each slice.
Brush with egg wash.
Place onto a baking tray covered with greaseproof paper and place into a preheated oven at 200 degrees for around 20-25 minutes or until the pastry has started to brown.
Whilst these are cooking melt some chocolate.
Once the pastry slices are out of the oven and still hot drizzle chocolate over the top, then simply sprinkle your, erm, sprinkles on top.
Done!

You can either eat these hot/warm, although it is rather messy with the melted chocolate on top but uber yum! Or wait for them to cool, still quite messy but still uber yum.

Simple and effective. The boys absolutely loved them (as did my husband, and I) and will soon be trying them with different fillings, like jam for example.




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27.5.13

A Big Pile of Yuk

That would be me.
A big pile of yuk.
I don't recognise myself. I feel ashamed. I feel sorry for my family.
I feel like I've let everyone down.

I keep having breakdowns, because of how I look.
And I don't know what to do about it.
I just want to be me again.
To be confident.
To be proud of a family photo rather than feeling ashamed because I ruin them.

I want to feel pretty. I want to look pretty.
I don't want to continue walking around feeling like everyone is looking at me and thinking "yuk!"

I don't want to keep dreading meeting up with people and seeing people because I know they'll notice my weight.
Instantly be hit with how big I am, or how much bigger I have become since they last saw me.

I don't want to be thin.
I just want to be normal.
I want to have the motivation, willpower and energy to do something about this.

I want to be in control.

I feel totally out of control.

I feel disgusting.

I hate that I have to put a disclaimer, but I'm not doing this for attention. I'm not doing this for people to tell me I look ok. I'm writing it because I can't keep it locked in my head any longer.
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A Short Afternoon Walk

After my little cake date with Charles on Saturday we went to my mums to collect her and Harry and drove to the marshes near my town.
We've visited these marshes lots and lots of times so the boys are pretty confident with wear to go and what to do.
It was nice to just let Harry run free. There are cows down at the marshes at the moment so we went and said hello to those and then went for a walk around a small field. The boys threw stones into the little river with my mum and after we all felt a tiny bit too cold we headed home to play in the garden.

It was only a short walk but was still lovely to get the fresh air and to stretch our legs.

 
 
 
 
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26.5.13

A New Way of Relaxing

I'm sure I'm not the only mummy out there who finds it hard to relax in the evening. I'm always on edge waiting for a boy/the boys to wake up needing milk, water, hot chocolate, a cuddle, medicine and so on.
I tend to crash out on the sofa once dinner has been served and *bad wife alert* I tend to not move for the remainder of the evening.
My husband goes to bed around 10-10.30 and I then go to bed anytime between 11 and 2! I'll either be watching YouTube videos, reading blogs, writing blog posts, stalking people on Twitter, "window shopping", lusting over certain London hotels, watching tv, etc.

My husband is pretty obsessed with Aldi. I think if he could go there everyday he would. For a while he's been desperately trying to spend over £30. I know that sounds odd, but we kept buying a trolley full of items and would only spend around £20. He discovered their red wine which is now his favourite and we tend to buy beer from there too, as it's cheap but really nice.
In the summer we buy their own Sangria and serve it in a jug with additional frozen berries. It's amazing.
Last week I spotted bottles of Mojito for £3.99. The last time I can recall having a Mojito was in 2008 on our cruise. It was the first one I'd ever had and they had put too much salt around the top so I was put off.
But at this price I thought it would be worth a try.
My husband then grabbed a second bottle and some fresh mint. If you're going to do cocktails, you must do them properly!

Well, it was absolutely delicious. And even nicer the longer the mint is left in.

I may not be able to completely relax in the evenings but this certainly helped a little bit.

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25.5.13

A Mummy and Son Afternoon Date

Since having Harry I very rarely get quality time with Charles. My husband works Saturday afternoons and then Sundays are our family days so there is no time really for us to do something. Just the two of us.
My mum works half days, every other Saturday, and this week I feel this overwhelming need to just be with Charles. Luckily it was her full day off so we planned for her to look after Harry whilst we did something special.
I had an idea for a photoshoot I'd like to do with him and that was our plan for today, except it was too windy to do what I wanted to do so we've postponed that for next week (hopefully).
We also planned to go to the cinema but it's quite expensive when you add up my ticket, his ticket and then a popcorn treat (I want him to have the full cinema experience) so I want to save that plan until there's something we really want to watch, rather than picking something at random that we might not like.

So, we instead went for a simple plan of taking him for a haircut and then going out for cake.
It was nice to be able to concentrate all of my attention on him at the Barbers, rather than having to stand holding onto Harry whilst I try and make sure Charles is looking straight/looking down/looking up etc.
We've never been for lunch or for a treat together in a cafe before so it was really lovely just to sit there, at a table, together and talk.
For most of it I just stared at him.

I was delighted to finally discover lots of bluebells and took the opportunity to take some photos of him sitting and standing near them. Although that was suddenly cut short due to the appearance of a bee.

There is a Maritime Museum in the park we visited and although I tend to avoid talk of bombs, and guns (Charles doesn't know what a gun is which I am very proud of) I did briefly talk to him about
the bombs and rockets we saw within the park.

Charles chose a massive slice of 'death by chocolate' cake, hot chocolate with cream and marshmallows and I went for Eton Mess and a Tradtional Lemonade.
I was shocked that he managed to eat all of the cake!

For being a good boy he was given 10p to put in the Postman Pat Charity Box. The box has been there since I was a little girl so it's very special.

After we left the cafe we had a little walk amoungst the bluebells and Charles spoke to Harry on the phone for the first time. It was a very cute moment.

We only had two hours together but it was really wonderful just spending time together. And I can't wait to do it again.

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24.5.13

Ready For Four

With three weeks to go (argh! presents are not finalised, I thought we had four weeks still) until Charles turns four I've really been thinking about the past four years. We all do it, we can't help but to think about how far we've all come in that time. Us as parents, our children, all of us as a family.

The most common thing people say is "I can't believe he's going to be four" or "Wow, can you believe he's going to be four?"
And I find myself answering with the standard expected answer of "No, I can't believe it, it's gone so quickly".
But actually I can believe it. Yes the four years have gone quickly but when I think back to the things we have done, thinking about how much we've fit in, the fact we've had another baby, the fact Charles is quite grown up (at times) it doesn't seem too much of a surprise really.

It feels like he's been three forever. His third birthday in some ways seems like it wasn't too long ago but then in other ways seems like it was ages ago, especially when we look at photos and notice how much he (and Harry) has changed.

It's also really exciting because this year he will really understand the whole celebration aspect around birthdays. Although he knew this before in terms of birthday= presents, cake, party, fun, I think now it's different because he's older and knows what a birthday is.
I think having a brother made it easy for him to understand what a birth-day actually is. He knows that on Harry's birth-day he was all of a sudden not in my tummy anymore, and had been born.

It feels like we've been saying for a long time that we have a three year old and we're all ready to move onto the next step and embrace four.
It's certainly going to be a big year for him with him starting big boy school in September. I think the fact we've all been talking about that and thinking about school for a while now also contributes to our being ready for him to be older.

I always thought I would dread birthdays. Not the celebration aspect but the fact that my children are getting older and I no longer have babies and will soon be teenagers, but I really feel this sense of excitement.
Excitement of what is to come, the challenges he will face and how he will deal with them, his developments.
Excitement for him because I know he is really looking forward to starting school. Whether or not he'll like it is a completely different matter although he still loves preschool and wants to go everyday.

I'm ready for the challenges a four year old may bring too. I'm sure a lot of it will be filled with fun, funny things he'll be saying, pride in the things he's achieving. But I also know we'll be experiencing and facing his sense of independence and his "testing the boundries" for want of a better term.
Us all adjusting to our roles in the family, and in life. And although in a way I would want to hold off a lot of that, as those are challenges I'm not sure I want to face, especially as we may be hit by the terrible twos in the same year, I know it's just part of life and part of his development.

We'll embrace every moment.

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23.5.13

Promise Yourself

I've never grabbed a quote from Pinterest like this before but after a little search one evening I came across this and thought it was fantastic.
It may not be easy to follow and easy promises to make but it's wonderful all the same.


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21.5.13

For Better Or Worse


Evenings in can be pretty boring sometimes. We tend to sit on our phones/with the laptop or like to watch the television.
It was quite exciting to then get sent this fun new app called For Better or Worse which had been made for Osbornes Solicitors.
The app is simple, and takes little time to set up. You set up registration then you're sent an email with a link to a webpage.
On this page you then enter your partners email address or their Facebook login, and then you answer questions about yourself from the selection given, questions such as:
  • What would be the first thing you would save in a fire?
  • What was the name of your first pet?
  • On your first date, who bought the first drink?
  • Who would play you in a movie version of your life?
  • What is your shoe size?
Your partner will then be notified and invited to fill in their answers about you and your relationship.
You'll then be notified when they’ve answered your questions so you can score their results.

This is so much fun and is really intriguing. We didn't do too bad and only really struggled on questions such as "What would be the first thing you would save in a fire?" because there is obviously so much to choose from, and we ended up making up our own answers anyway.

Why watch game shows on tv when you can be part of your very own one?
Have a go, and let me know how you get on.

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A Clear Rejection...

Promise and Lie have almost the same meaning to me.
Ever since I was around 15 I have experienced so many lies. And so many broken promises.
And it's ok.
Except really, it's not ok.
Lie's are not ok.
Lies are horrible, hurtful, and can cause a lot of damage.
And so can broken promises.
But those saying the lies, or breaking the promises, don't realise the hurt they cause.
The damage they cause.
And later will question why you have changed.
Because they don't understand what they have done wrong.

Which is quite sad really, isn't it?
We experienced lies from my dad before, during and after he left us.
And that wasn't ok. We were left confused. Even now, 13 years on there is still a huge amount of confusion. And I think, from me, there is a confusion over how someone I loved so much, and cared for and admired so much, could lie to me the way he did. He made promises when he married my mum, which he broke, and I believe that when you become a parent you make certain promises.
You don't have to stand in front of a church or room full of people and make a declaration. You don't have to say those promises out loud for everyone to hear, to sign your name on an official document to say that you will stick by those promises.
The promises you make to your children are unwritten.
They are obvious, and unwritten. You don't need to say them.
I don't need to write them here, because we know what they are.
You don't even need to be a parent to know the promises.

But when a parent breaks those promises, not just once, but a few times, over a number of years, you can't help but feel confused.
You beat yourself up.
Why am I not good enough?
Why doesn't he love me?
Why are they better than me?
What can I do to change?
Why do I keep chasing him?
And you confront him, and he tells you he loves you.
He tells you he is proud of you.
He tells you he'll make the effort.
And then once again, you are beating yourself up.

A never ending cycle.

It would be ok if maybe it was just your one parent doing this.
But when friends do it too, you really do feel confused.

You open your heart out. Tell them your inner most secrets and feelings.
You trust them.
Maybe too easily.
I tend to take people into my heart too easily I think. And maybe that is my problem.
But then why should it be?
How long do you need to be friends with someone until you let them in?

I don't know you. Yet writing this, and you reading it, means I'm letting you in, right?

And I'm ok with that, because this isn't too personal.
And I haven't gone into too much detail.

I figure that right now I will always find it hard to trust everyone.
To believe promises.
And I hope that one day I am able to see a promise and a lie with two completely opposite meanings.


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18.5.13

Marshmallow Pops

Mmmmm mmmm mmmmmmmmmmmmm.
Ok, so we might not be throwing Charles a birthday party but we will have having his aunty and uncle over the Sunday before and then my mum the Saturday after, therefore I have a fantastic excuse to play with yummy nibbles.
I found these on the internet and thought they would look fab and taste rather lovely. Added to the fact they are easy and cheap to make.
They are too easy for me to need to tell you how to make them but I can at least give some tips to help you on your way.

Step one: Put the marshmallow on the end of a skewer.
Step two: Dip the marshmallow into some melted chocolate. My tip here is to dip and twist the marhmallow into the chocolate to guarantee more coverage. Obviously you can dip as much of the marshmallow as you like. I just wanted the top dipped on the majority of mine.
Step three: Dip the marshmallow + chocolate into the sprinkles. Again, dip and twist for maximum coverage. I tend to then leave the marshmallow in the bowl for around 5 minutes so it begins to set. This also means the chocolate is less likely to run and the sprinkles fall everywhere.
Step four: Transfer onto a plastic chopping board or into a plastic tub to set.
Step five: Place in a cup/vase/jar and serve

You can use any sprinkles you like. I also used chunks of apples too.
We will be making these with white chocolate for Charles' birthday celebrations too.




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