Friday, 27 February 2015

3 out of 3

Finally, I completed Week 3 on the C25K app after a 4 week absence. It feels good just to be back in the game and free of pain and sickness.  I also completed my root canal treatment although I have to go back on Monday - seriously at this rate me and the dentist are going to soul mates -for my 'inlay' by all accounts this is the final stop before a crown. I also have to go back for another two teeth but will save that for next month as its crippling me!

I have to say I'm fed up with winter now. I'm bored with it. Today was a crisp sunny day and I saw the glimpse of crocuses coming up through the ground. Roll on spring time.  I'm feeling very fired up at the moment.  I'm excited for the blog - I have some things in the pipeline and feel a make-over is well over due as is the possibility of going 'self hosted' as they say in the game. To you and me that means having a .com address for the blog.

In addition to this finger in the blogging pie, I thought about selling cakes again. I used to sell them when no bugger was selling them. I didn't really take it further but its now so easy with the use of facebook. Its a great platform its much easier to start out in something that takes your fancy. In the old days you'd have to set up a website which would be costly and what not. The internet is wonderful for start up businesses. Anyhow, I'm not going to push it - just see where it takes me. I'm going organic.

I'm also thinking all frugal like. I happened to click on a mortgage over payment calculator type thing and if I were to magically have £200 extra a month (pah ha ha) you can reduce the term by 3 years. That's a big chunk off.  Speaking of which, this lady has been around for a while but is a great blog for all things frugal. Check her out at www.frugalqueen.co.uk - she might save you a whole bunch of cash!

Giving another shout out is this charming French teenager - yes you heard me right French, Teenager and Charming?!! He does cute youtube video clips of his baking creations. I found this fabulous one on giant cupcakes that I'm going to try out at the weekend. He also writes a blog in French and English. I would love to see him on UK telly - Mary Berry has had her day! Let the youngsters have a go! Check out William's cakes here.




So that's this weeks round up. I have my X-box rant to come up very shortly.

Stay tuned...

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Minecraft Themed Party with Balloon Time


If you don't know what Minecraft is then..well...what can I say. Actually your life is probably fine and dandy and if you haven't a clue then I salute you! For those of us who are in the know, then I hope this post gives you a few ideas if you fancy staging one for yourself.

I have to say whilst there are loads of images for Minecraft cakes there isn't a huge stash of party supplies for Minecraft, however, there are some fabulous blogs out there giving great links to various Minecraft ideas. In particular, I like this one by MineMum where I was directed to free Minecraft invites that I could print off and other great ideas.

My brief was "I want Stampy LongNose, a creeper and dog figure. I think I filled the brief.
So, firstly the cake.  I managed to steer clear of using lots of little squares. I copied this cake idea from the vast selection of Minecraft cakes on google. I made this out of 3 chocolate cakes and literally threw it together in my trade mark bish, bosh, bash style when I have to make a cake during half term.  I put oreos in there, blackcurrent jam and covered the outside with chocolate butter cream with smashed up oreos to create a soil effect. I also had some black edible dust kicking around (as you do) so dabbed that on too. The top was pretty straightforward a square of green fondant and then green piping for the grass. Mental note to self and everybody out there adding colour makes buttercream go runny. I always forget. Then I added the figures which I hated doing as my daughter kept interrupting me every 10 minutes to see how I was getting on. They were all booted outside in the garden at this point.

Cute 


For the Minecraft decorations, my daughter had made little signs like "gold" and "sticks" which we laminated and placed by the food. I ordered a green grass effect table cloth, creepy balloons, gold and silver paper plates/cups (as per daughter's instructions). Luckily a friend had off loaded her Minecraft paper boxes when she moved house which was perfect for putting on the table for decorations. We also used those boxes in pass the parcel with a chocolate inside. 

Square sandwiches and lots of blocks!

Of course we had to have 'lava'

Now I'm not one for staging parties and what not but even I was impressed with myself!  We used a treasure chest pinata and took off the pirate sign. 

My daughter's cakes all decorated by herself 
The balloon time helium pack was perfect for the finishing touches.  It only retails at £22 and you get 30 balloons included. I already had balloons but I will keep the ones in the box for future parties.  At first myself and the hubster thought the tank was empty. This is because we don't do reading instructions even if they are basic. Its very simple. You put the balloon over the nozzle turn the tap and then push down on the valve to inflate the balloon (we omitted to do that part in the first instance).  Once you do a few you soon get up to speed. I think you do need another pair of hands to tie the balloon etc.

The Minecraft balloons ready to go 
After actually reading the instructions the balloons started to fill up!



We only had one casualty
 We used all our Minecraft balloons and still have enough helium left over for my son's party in May. Given that I have often spent £6 to get two special balloons filled up at my local shop - I think this is fantastic value for money and will probably never have a party again without this handy kit.  I did think mmmm but I bet its a bugger to recycle. Fear not though - on the website it details how to recycle the cylinder - you do need a few handy bob the builder tools but seeing as my husband is Bob the Builder this isn't going to be a problem.
Have some of that!!

I don't do themed birthday parties but if I did.......
Tah dah!


One Happy 9 year old - I'm liking my new face!
I'm working with BritMums and Balloon Time as part of the "Celebration Club", highlighting inventive and fun ways of using balloons. I was provided with a Balloon Time helium kit and have been compensated for my time. All editorial and opinions are my own. 

Visit www.balloontime.com for more information and party inspiration.

Friday, 20 February 2015

The Pig Parent Part II


There were some seriously freaky pig mask pictures on google. In fact, I'm not sure I'll be able to sleep tonight. Are you a Pig Parent? Do you rustle your way through multipacks of crisps during a 90 minute film?! Pic Google

Just when I thought I had exhausted all avenues of ranting during the lifetime of this blog then WHAM! I appear to have be re-ignited in this department. I think it may have to do with the fact the that my son is now older - more of which later. Now where to start? Firstly, I have written about 'Pig Parkers' you know the ones that just kamikaze up to the car park without a care in the world. They normally park in such a way you 1) cannot park in the empty space next to them as they've literally crossed the line 2) you need a shoe horn to get out of the car 3) when exiting the two spaces they've taken up they can't be bothered to look out for pedistrians. I've often dreamt of just opening an instagram account soley for pig parker pictures. I must do that soon.  Whilst on that theme, have you noticed the speed in which people rock on up to a McDonalds drive thru? Seriously how desperate are you for your Fillet O Fish?! Does anyone eat those anymore? Remember the ad - "Fillet O Fish for my wife." Well if you don't check out the Youtube clip below - it took extensive research to dig that one out I can tell you.


I digress. So this is where 'The Pig Parent' stems from. I wrote about them in this blog post after a visit to the park. I like the title so much, more so then 'mums that need a slap', that I've decided its worthy of a squeal.

I used to enjoy the cinema (or cinema's as my children still call it) - watch a film, relax. Nice and easy. Have you been to the cinema for a kids showing (the adult films are much the same) recently? For the love of god STOP with the fucking picnics.  I can barely hear the film with all the incessant munching going on. You will eat again.  You will not die of starvation. Can you not last 2 hours (1 hour 30 mins for kids films) without troughing constantly.  Take Paddington bear for instance - a massive party of kids settled behind us on the back row and the party leader - had two carrier bags full of mutlipacks of crisps. The noise from that was just incredible.  

Now, I'm no kill joy and I do allow my kids to have a few nibbles. But the emphasis is on a few. I make up a small sandwich bag of a few treats i.e a handful of popcorn or like today a few minstrels and maltesers. I wasn't a bucket load and a fruity water bottle. I try and eliminate the need for rustling and if my kids do think fiddling around with the bag is acceptable its my job to tell them not to for the consideration of  others. Shame the rest of the parents in the cinema don't think about others.  

To add to my cinema woos today we went to a cheap deal showing of  The Book of Life - I actually thought it would be The Book of Shite but it was actually a rather pleasant film. Its very colourful and I liked the whole Mexican theme/tradition going on. Cue two mum's behind me who thought, seeing as it was just a kids film, they would chat intermittently throughout the entire performance. I mustered up all the energy I could not to demand "would you chat like this during an adult film?" but decided the answer would probably be yes.  Another pig parent in the venue thought that a baby crying was an insufficient enough reason to leave the cinema.  

That's where being a parent of an older child (11) I think is affecting my tolerance but I'm pretty sure I would have walked out of the venue had my baby started to cry. Basically parents of younger children piss me off no end. They seem to have notched up a gear in the inconsideration stakes and your older child isn't worthy in their eyes. They shouldn't be playing with their siblings in an area that is designated for younger ones even if they're just minding my little Buddy.  They look at you in disgust if you cross a crossing when the green man isn't present - my son needs to be able to cross a road in the absence of a green man and when his mum isn't around. 

But parents of younger children are not the only Pig Parent offenders - no the parents of older are probably worse. Why? Because they're the ones that let their children play 18 rated x-box games and the like.  They give them not just an x-box, a playstation and a TV in their room and treat them like mini adults. They'll later be moaning about the fact they're groan up so quick. Err you don't say - look a bit closer to home for answers to that one.

I have a separate post on this one entirely as our X-box has now been banned and is currently sitting in the loft. In short, my son was becoming addicted. He feels its somewhat unjust given he's doing really well at school - which I would like to stay that way. I had a little glance at his new High School and they give a suggested reading list - sadly at the top it said something along the lines of we know its hard to get your child to stop playing the x-box/playstation but if they could read that would be great. For the love of god - stop the maddness!!!!

As you were. 

Monday, 16 February 2015

Monday Chit Chat

I am alive!! Literally - this is what I told my friend after having my root canal treatment. It wasn't too bad at all.  I can't say I enjoyed it but it certainly wasn't painful unlike my abscess which was horrendous.  I was in the chair for an hour and have a repeat performance in two weeks time.  Today, we made another trip to the dentist - as a family (minus the hubster who hasn't graced a dentist in over 30 years).  The kids are fine - still no fillings. Although my eldest may have slight decay - to my astonishment he had a glass of milk this evening. Clearly the thought of a filling is making him see his diet in a different light. He doesn't eat lots of sweets - you might as well give a child a spoonful of sugar if you do that - but he's not a great one for eating veg, fruit and protein. I think I might be able to use the threat of a filling as leverage.

1970s Milk Bottle - pic ebay
So, its half term and so far so good. After the dentist we went to celebrate our good teeth (although I need the other molar to have a re-filling and another tooth filled #sigh) with some cake at the vintage tea rooms. These places are very nice but I do wonder how much profit they make. Not as much as my dentist that's for sure - we'll be the best of friends at this rate. I reckon a chi ching sound goes off when I enter the room these days. Anyhow, back to vintage -  I think lots will spring up all over the place a bit like the cupcake boom.  I had a chicken sandwich and a sneaky cappuccino.

So week 4 of no running - I am going to re-start when the kids go back to school on my week 3 which includes the 3 min run. The inches are still down - 1 off my arm, 4 off my tum, 1 under the bust but none from my widest part i.e arse. I am about to enter the Race for Life to give me a goal in June.

Tomorrow, we have cheap movie tickets and a friend over, Wednesday its cake baking for my daughter's Minecraft party on Saturday and possibly another friend over, Thursday over to Cath's and Friday hopefully Big Hero 6 if the purse strings will allow and my friend and her 3 kiddies hope to pop over, Saturday is the party and Sunday is hockey - so not much then!

In other news, I will do my food saver review!  I need to for my fondant icing and I'm actually looking forward to using it.

Be back soon.....


Monday, 9 February 2015

Abscess Absence

Yarp. Not content with being ill 2 weeks ago I thought I'd add to my state of victim mode by having an abscess on my tooth. Monday I took a bite on something and then had this intense pain - I thought it might go but it had other ideas. By Tuesday I'm thinking mmm really should be gone by now - by Wednesday I was rolling around the floor wailing like a banshee. I actually cried with the pain - I didn't cry during childbirth.  The difference between this pain and childbirth is that during labour you actually get a break from the pain (not at the end). You don't get a break with toothache. The word toothache doesn't really do it justice.  Anyhow, I am still alive to tell the tale. Just.

I only managed to get to see my dentist on the Thursday who promptly gave me antibiotics.  Stupidly I thought I'd be right as rain within a few hours. It is Tuesday and I am only just about pain free!  I even visited an emergency dentist to see if I could get the abscess drained. The rather po faced dentist told me it wasn't big enough and to expect it to get bigger. What a biatch!! I can't believe in this day and age you get sod all for pain relief for an abscess.

The root (excuse the pun) for all my troubles was a hatchet job on my molar about 10 years ago. We moved to a different area (pre kids) and my husband suggested the dentist that lived above the pizza place. My gut instinct was not to go to a dentist that housed itself above a pizza parlour but hubster told me not to be so snobby.  I have since blamed him for my dodgy root canal every since.  I only went in for a check up with no pain and pizza dentist starting initiating root canal there and then. Not content with one drilling session I had to go back a second time and pay over £400 for the privilege.

I never went back and have never trusted a dentist again. I do have a dentist that is 20 minutes away from where we now live.  I am too scared to move having regained a ounce of trust in this one.  I probably should just join the one that is in our street.  Anyhow, it was bad job and was always infected. It has lasted over 10 years but my time was up. So to cut a long story short I have a re-root canal booked for Friday. I can get it on the NHS which will be half the £400 but by all accounts the private treatment will be a better job.

Now call me an argumentative old cynic but surely if you're doing the same treatment and have any shred of integrity the NHS treatment should be just the same? I mean if my leg was broken would a surgeon that also did private treatment and work at an NHS hospital do a patch up job? Its meant to be a vocation isn't it? I think I might just give my dentist all the pin numbers for my credit cards whilst I'm at it. So I'm about to get shafted big time on Friday. Can't wait.


Thank you Nessa x

To add to my misery, my sister had prepared her fine dining experience for me and the hubster. My husband was looking forward to this immensely as the food in this house, with fussy little fuckers, means its bland.  They don't like this, they don't like that. We were going to sample adult food god dam it.  So the 5 course meal was dished up to my other sister.

I think its fair to say I could have happily overdosed on pain killers this week - my husband read that a woman had killed herself by her over enthusiastic self mediation for earache. Easily done. I was popping pills like I used to pop lemon sherbets as a youngster. See above for effects of that.

So, no bloody jogging for week 3.  Might get out on Wednesday but seeing as I'm so far behind schedule its unlikely.  The kids are also off  - today and tomorrow due to a burst water main at the school.





The food I didn't get to eat 

On a positive note, my sister did send me some lovely flowers which was very thoughtful given that she had gone to a lot of effort Saturday and was just as disappointed.  I have lost 7lbs in weight and my stomach at its fattest has gone down by 4 inches since January.

So, my recommendation for fast efficient weight loss is to get a large abscess - not enough for the NHS to actually do anything though - I blame a 5 year term of nasty Tories who don't give a toss about anyone - then get an abscess on your tooth.

Oh nearly forgot the results of my blood tests showed I didn't have an underactive thyroid (fat excuse no 104 ticked off) but am anemic.  I have always had a bit of history of low iron levels - funnily enough I didn't feel tired or anything but my hands have been a bit dry.  I'm now on black poo tablets.

So that's all my news - be back soon to review the food saver and hopefully I'll be fit and healthy to carry on with my C25K programme.

Be back soon