Tuesday, 28 February 2017

35 Random Facts About Me....

 

I debated writing this post as I convinced myself that no one in their right mind would care to read random things having to do with me. I then re-visited the idea & I must have convinced myself that someone may, indeed care to read many random facts about me because well, I ended up writing a list of 35! 

I figured if nothing else, it may help you to get to know me a little bit more beyond my family & recipe posts. So here goes....

1. I'm terrified of clowns, they scare the crap out of me, you certainly wouldn't see me at the circus! 

2. I'm turning 27 this year but I like to deduct years of my age, I seem to forget & say I'm 23, wishful thinking I know! 

3. I am an Aries, & I am very much an Aries. 

4. I don't like change, but I also get bored with things being the same & crave change. Yeah, you figure that one out because I can't. 

5. I hate speaking in public, I literally turn into a beetroot & start spluttering my words. #Awkward. 

6. I have 3 children, an 8 year old son, a 6 year old daughter & a 7 month old son- but you already knew that 😊. 

7. I hate, hate, hate spiders.. if you see me running (because this never happens!) it's because ive seen one, even the tiny ones. Yes I'm a wimp. 

8. I love cooking but don't like the cleaning up afterwards, hence the many quick & easy recipes in my blog. 

9. I'm not a morning person, unfortunately my children didn't get this memo. 

10. I'm an introvert until I get to know someone, then you can't shut me up 😂. 

11. Give me chocolate & I'll do just about anything. 

12. Give me wine & I'll do just about anything. 

13. I'm a list maker, I have lists everywhere & for everything. 

14. If I could have any super power it would be to not need sleep, it doesn't sound super but I'm sure many parents out there would agree with me. 

15. Give me a good book & you won't see me for hours, maybe even days. 

16. I have 10 tattoos & would like a few more. 

17. I would like to go back to education & train in a Midwifery course. 

18. I'm a Harry Potter geek. 

19. I love going to watch live music. 

20. I love going to the beach. Sun, sea & sand I'm in my element & am very fortunate that I live so close by to many beautiful beaches. 

21. I am the worst at crying during tv soaps & movies. 

22. When I'm tired I get super grumpy, irrational & emotional. 

23. I have a weird knack for remembering things that happened years & years ago, but ask me what I did yesterday & i wouldn't be able to tell you. 

24. I have stupidly curly frizzy hair that even my beloved GHD's can't tame. 

25. I tend to be very hard on myself. 

26. I detest ironing, i do not have an ironing pile, I'll only iron if the damn creases haven't fallen out once hung up. I will try to avoid it at all cost. 

27. I'm the eldest of 4. One sister & twin brothers. 

28. I'm a total believer of 'A place for everything, & everything in its place.' 

29. I'm a shopaholic. It's a problem. 

30. I have expensive taste even though my bank balance can not accommodate it. 

31. I'm very empathetic, if you start crying I will cry with you, even when nothing is wrong with me. 

32. I used to be very sporty when I was younger. What happened? I don't know. 

33. I would love to travel the world. 

34. I love chicken, I could eat it for breakfast, lunch & dinner for the rest of my life, if that was possible. 

35. I have a love/hate relationship with exercise. I hate doing crazy, hard workouts, but love how I feel after them. 

Well there you have it, wow that was a lot harder than what I thought it would be. Hope you enjoyed learning some random facts about me. 

 
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Monday, 27 February 2017

Recipe- One Pot Penne Pizza Bake (Slimming World Friendly)

 

This is the ultimate in one pot pizza bakes & gives you all the carb loaded satisfaction of pizza without the guilt! 

One pot serves 8 slices so enough for 4 people, loaded with cheese & toppings of your choice. I went for ham, mushrooms & extra cherry tomatoes with abit of extra basil sprinkled on top. 

I served my slice of Penne Pizza Slice with a side of salad, making it a really healthy meal even if it doesn't look like it! 

This meal takes about 5 minutes prep time & 30 minutes cooking time. 

Ingredients- serves 4 people
  • 500g Penne Pasta
  • 1x Tin Chopped Tomatoes
  • 1x Onion, diced
  • 2x Cloves Garlic, crushed
  • 10-15 Cherry Tomatoes, halved plus extra for topping
  • 3/4 Pint Chicken Stock
  • Extra Boiling Water (to add gradually)
  • Handful Fresh Basil, plus extra for topping
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste
  • 2Tbsp Mixed Herbs
  • Frylight 
  • 240g Grated Mozzarella 
  • Ham, roughly chopped
  • Sliced Mushrooms 
Method
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
  2. Fry the onions & garlic in frylight until soft. 
  3. Add the cherry tomatoes & then the stock, bring to the boil, pour in the penne pasta, mix well. 
  4. Add the chopped tomatoes & mix throughly. Cover & reduce the heat. Stir & simmer until the stock is running out & then add more boiling water gradually. 
  5. Stir in the basil, salt & pepper & mixed herbs. 
  6. Continue to stir, simmer & add more water until the pasta is cooked through & then take it off heat. You don't want it to be sloppy. 
  7. Smooth the pasta until you have an even top & sprinkle the mozzarella evenly to cover. 
  8. Add your toppings & spray with more frylight. Add the basil to garnish. 
  9. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted & the toppings are cooked. 
  10. Prepare into slices & enjoy with a side of your choice. 
This meal is super easy to make & one for all the family to enjoy. You really can't go wrong! 

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Sunday, 26 February 2017

Recipe- Chocolate Chip Greek Yoghurt Pancakes

 

With Pancake Day just around the corner I thought I would try something abit different. These chocolate chip pancakes make a perfect light breakfast or dessert & have extra protein from the Greek Yoghurt. Honestly these are so good, I couldn't believe how great these turned out! 

And because I'm abit of a chocolate addict I added in some mini chocolate chips, for an even healthier version you can leave them out and opt for plain or add some fruit, strawberries & blueberries would work well with these pancakes. 

The recipe makes about 14 pancakes (for 4 people) but you can just half the ingredients to make enough for two people. 
This recipe takes about 10 minutes prep time & 20 minutes cooking time. 

Ingredients
  • 250g White Wholewheat Flour
  • 2x Tsps Baking Powder
  • 1/2x Tsps Bicarbonate Soda
  • 1/2x Tsps Salt
  • 300g Vanilla Greek Yoghurt
  • 1/2 Pint Milk
  • 2x Large Eggs
  • 2x Tbsps Oil
  • 3x Tbsps Honey
  • 1x Tsps Vanilla Extact
  • 90g Mini Chocolate Chips
Method
  1. In a large bowl mix together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate soda & salt. 
  2. In a separate bowl mix together the greek yoghurt, milk, eggs, oil, honey & vanilla extact.
  3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients & mix until just combined, gently fold in the chocolate chips. 
  4. Heat a frying pan on a medium heat & spray well with non-stick cooking spray. 
  5. Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, scoop the batter & pour into the frying pan. Once the top starts to bubble & the edges look set, flip & cook for a further 1-2 minutes.
  6. Serve with extra chocolate chips, fresh fruit or pure maple syrup. 
 

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Friday, 24 February 2017

Recipe- Mozzarella, Tomato & Basil Pesto Chicken

 

As a busy parent I know that getting a quick & healthy dinner on the table can be stressful, by 5pm everyone is starting to get abit grumpy. 
So I'm sharing this failsafe midweek recipe.
It's super easy to make with just 5 minutes prep time & 30 minutes in the oven. 

Ingredients- Serves 4
  • 4x Chicken Breasts
  • 4x Tbsp Basil Pesto
  • 2x Sliced Tomatoes
  • 75g Grated Mozzarella 
  • Ground Pepper, to taste 
  • Fresh Parsely, finely chopped & to garnish
Method
  1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees, place chicken breasts into a casserole dish. 
  2. Cover the chicken with your basil pesto, 2 slices of tomato each, sprinkle on the mozzarella.
  3. Season with ground pepper & finish with some fresh parsley on top.
  4. Cook in the oven for 30 minutes. 
  5. Garnish with a sprinkling of fresh parsley.
And 'TaDa' that is literally it! How simple is that? 
Simple but super tasty! 
I served mine with mixed vegetable rice but you can serve it with whatever you fancy. 

 
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Am I A Selfish Mum?

 

Selfish is the ultimate insult you could call a mother. It cuts to the very core of what being a mother is, which is about giving. We give up our bodies, we give our hearts, we give up careers, we sometimes lose friendships. We do all of this because the moment our baby is placed in our arms nothing else matters but the health & happiness of the little treasure that we created. We would sacrifice our own lives for our children. 

For 8 years (nearly 9 would you believe!) I have told myself that I didn't matter. I shut out the inner me trying to tell me my feelings & goals were important by telling myself how much my children mattered, how much MR.B mattered.

It's 3.30pm, another cup of coffee is sitting by my side getting cold as I'm frantically trying to get my 7 month old baby, who is fighting with all his might, to go to sleep. I haven't showered, I haven't eaten, I haven't had a moment of thoughtless silence. I haven't been alone or experienced an ounce of personal space and no I definitely haven't felt like myself. 

And when I share this sense of exhaustion & stress, I'm told this is part of Motherhood. After all this displaced sense of selflessness is what being a mum is all about. I in my exhaustion & hunger & my devastated self worth, am doing Motherhood right. And I am told that if I really care about my family, this feeling is bound to be normal. 

I will constantly remind myself that it isn't just about me anymore & if for some horrible selfish reason I end up making it about me, I'm neglecting my children & MR.B.

But in this moment at 3.30pm I have decided enough is enough! 

Mothers don't need to be told that forgetting who they are or ignoring what they need, somehow makes them better mothers. 

Mothers don't need to be convinced that losing their sense of self is an indicator of their undying love & devotion for their family. 

Instead, Mothers need to be reminded that they cannot take care of anyone if they don't take care of themselves first. 

Mothers need to be told that it is okay to be selfish. In fact an act of selfishness could not only benefit them, but their entire family. 

Mothers need to be reassured that having something outside of the family, whether that be a particular hobby you enjoy, going out with friends, a career even, is not only vital to their mental & physical well-being but something us mothers deserve! 

I am a supportive partner, a sacrificing mother, I love MR.B & our 3 children I assure you, but I'm going to love myself aswell & im going to make a promise to myself that I always will. 

And if that makes me a selfish mother than I'm going to embrace it with open arms. 

I am a Selfish Mum. 

 



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Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Open Letter From One Mum To Another

 


Dear Other Mums,

I saw you today in the supermarket, with your two little ones. One was screaming for the lollies at the checkout & the other was pulling your skirt demanding attention. I saw the look of embarrassment on your face that screamed "Please God just let us get out of this store and in to the car". I also saw the other mum in the aisle watching & rolling her eyes.

I saw you at the coffee shop with your newborn, you had the same glazed over look that I wear every couple of days. I also saw the working Mum, ready for her day at the office & the way she shook her head in assumption that you had no excuse to be tired.

I saw you in the clothing store. You walked up and down with your pram, trying to find something that would accommodate that 'I just gave birth' figure. I also saw the stylish, well dressed mum with her designer pram look you up & down.

I read your post on Facebook, when you said you’re struggling in the hope that someone could relate & provide a hint of encouragement. I also saw some of the comments that followed from women who know exactly how that feels but were too scared to admit it.

Can I let you in on a secret? I have those days too.

I’ve had that moment where I’m at the shops with my screaming baby and copped the looks from passers-by who have no idea that my child has just been fed, changed and there’s nothing else that I can physically do to meet their needs. They don’t know that my child suffers from reflux and this is the only thing that calms him down when he's in pain.

I’ve had that moment when it’s 3:00am and I’m tired and emotional and I just need to hear encouragement from someone who 'gets it'.

I've had that moment where we have gone out on what was supposed to be a lovely day out for the children but somehow it turns into a frantic stressful day that makes you wonder why you bothered in the 1st place. 

I’ve had that moment when I’m out and about and I see a mum looking oh so fine with her newborn and wonder what planet she came from, because in my world looking like that is not humanly possible.

Why are we so quick to tear each other down? The hardest job I’ve ever had is this one. It’s rewarding and beautiful and the best thing to ever happen to me, but I would be lying if I said it wasn’t hard work. 

We need to stop being so concerned about what people might "think" and being willing to walk up to each other and give a word of encouragement.

Such as........

  • "Ive been there you will get through it"
  • "Your doing an amazing job"
  • "I know it may seem pretty shit right now but things do get better & easier"

Never underestimate the power of one of these said outloud to another mum. It reminds us that we are human, that we are not alone, and that there is hope.

Yours Sincerely 

From One Mum To Another 

X

 


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Monday, 20 February 2017

Things You Should Never Say To A Stay At Home Mum

 

Watching my 6 month old shriek with glee because he managed to roll around enough to grab his toys all by himself, listening to my 6 year old daughter reading beautifully & well beyond her years, my 8 year old son coming home from school with sports medals, watching all three of them grow & flourish, brings me so much pride & joy. I feel a rush of pleasure & privilege that I get to share moments like these with them every single day. For me becoming a Stay-At-Home Mother was an obvious choice & thanks to MR.B's job & our careful financial planning, I've been extremely lucky to be able to do just that. 

I hate the phrase "Oh your just a stay at home mum?"
It makes you feel like being a Mum doesn't 'count' it's incredibly belittling & makes us Mums feel like we are not doing enough or being enough. 

I'm tired of hearing the same questions over & over again. Such as.....

"Oh so you don't have a job?" - Well I don't get paid for staying at home with my children no, but I also don't get to clock off at 5pm, have days off or sick days. Being a SAHM means I'm on call 365 days of the year, 24 hours a day. 

"Don't you want a Career?" - Of course I do, I'm still young enough that when my littlest starts Pre-School/School that I can still pursue the career of my dreams, but in the meantime I am quite happy with raising my 3 children. It doesn't mean I'm not working hard for my future. 

"What do you do all day?" - Well I would love to tell you that I go out and get my hair & nails done, I would also love to tell you that I go on spa days twice weekly, go shopping, you know the usual. But sorry to disappoint you this is not the case. I change dirty nappies all day long, cook, clean, play nurse when my children are sick, run errands, never eat a hot meal, hardly have time to wash my hair because I either have a baby screaming for my attention or the other 2 need me for one reason or another. 

"Do you not get bored?" - My life is anything but boring, every day is a new day with my children, the new things they learn & discover for themselves, watching them hit their milestones. To me it's fascinating & I love that I can be a part of that. 

"You must have the most relaxing days mustn't you?" - Well if you call waking up at 2.00am, 3.00am then 5.30am every day, then having to wrestle with your children to get dressed, having porridge thrown back in your face, breaking up your children's arguements, constantly have a baby hanging of your bloody hip. Then yeah my life is relaxing. 

I'm proud & lucky to be a Stay At Home Mum, I love my life & I wouldn't have it any other way.

So for all you other SAHM's when someone asks you "So what do you do?" Stop selling yourself short by saying "I'm just.." there is no need to justify yourself. 

 

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Sunday, 19 February 2017

Recipe- Greek Chicken Kebabs

 

I LOVE Greek Food I could eat it everyday no problem! I love that not only is it healthy but it tastes so fresh & flavourful. I was in heaven eating these, I was savouring each & every last bite & I can't wait to make them again. 
This is a quick & easy recipe with 10 minutes prep time, 2hrs to marinade & about 15 mins cooking time.

Ingredients- Serves 4
  • 3x Boneless Chicken Breasts, Diced
  • Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Fresh Lemon, Juiced
  • 3x Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 2x Tsp Dried Oregano
  • 1/2x Tsp Dried Basil
  • 1/2x Tsp Dried Thyme
  • 1/2x Tsp Ground Coriander 
  • Salt & Ground Pepper to taste
  • 2x Large Red Bell Peppers, Cut into pieces 
  • 2x Large Green Bell Peppers, Cut into pieces
  • 1x Large Red Onion, Cut into wedges
  • Wholemeal Pitta Bread
  • Wooden/Metal Skewers
Method
  1. In a bowl whisk together 1/4 cup olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, oregano, basil, thyme, coriander, season with salt & pepper. 
  2. Dice your chicken & place into a big resealable bag, pour the olive oil mixture over the chicken, press the chicken into marinade. Seal bag & refrigerate for 2hrs. 
  3. If using wooden skewers soak them in water 30 minutes beforehand. 
  4. Drizzle & toss the veggies with 2x Tbsp of olive oil
  5. Preheat a grill over a medium-high heat. Thread your chicken & veggies, brush grill lightly with olive oil, place skewers on grill & grill for about 7 minutes each side. 
I served mine with Tzatziki Sauce & Wholemeal Pitta but you can serve them with what ever you like. 

 
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Friday, 17 February 2017

Recipe- Ultimate Home-Made Burger (Slimming World Friendly)

 

I'm a huge sucker for the classic Burger & Chips and these burgers are deliciously juicy courtesy of MR.B it was his turn in the kitchen tonight & it turns out he isn't a bad chef either. 
These burgers are packed with flavour & tasted amazing you wouldn't believe they are healthy! It takes 5 minutes preparation & about 15 minutes cooking time.
Another Slimming World Friendly Recipe. 

Ingredients- Serves 4
  • 900g Lean Beef Mince (5% fat or less)
  • 1x Small Onion finely chopped
  • 2x Tsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2x Garlic Cloves crushed
  • A handful of fresh flat leaf Parsely finely chopped
  • 1x Tsp Cajun Spice
  • 120g Cheddar Cheese
  • Bacon Medallions 
  • 4x Buns
  • Frylight
Method
  1. Place the mince, onion, worcestershire sauce, garlic, parsely & cajun spice into a food processor, blend until just combined. 
  2. Place mixture into a bowl & combine with your hands. Divide into portions & shape into a burger shape. 
  3. Pre-heat your grill to high. Spray your burgers with frylight & grill each side until cooked to your liking. 
  4. Grill your bacon medallions until cooked to your liking. 
  5. To serve, fill your roll with Cheddar Cheese & other fillings of your choice.
 

I served my Utimate Burger with Slimming World Chips. 
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Thursday, 16 February 2017

Recipe- Slow Cooked Diet-Coke Gammon (Slimming World Friendly)

 

This Diet Coke Gammon I cooked using my Slow Cooker, this has blown my mind so I just had to share it with you guys. As I have blogged in a previous post I've been very poorly but my body craved a healthy & substantial meal, ready-made & takeaways (I know naughty me!) have taken its toll on me. So this recipe was perfect as it only took 5 minutes to prep, the slow cooker did the rest of the work. Totally melt in your mouth & the meat just pulled apart after 9 hrs of cooking. 
I know it seems like a long cooking time but I put this on to cook 1st thing in the morning & by the time it was dinner it was ready! 

Ingredients- Feeds 4
  • 1x Large Gammon Joint
  • 2x Tbsp Worstershire Sauce
  • 2x Tbsp Light Soya Sauce
  • 1x Vegetable Stock Cube
  • 1x 330ml Can Diet Coke
  • 1x Tbsp Mixed Herbs
  • 1x Tbsp Paprika
  • Ground Pepper (to taste) 
Method
  1. Remove all visible fat from the Gammon Joint with a sharp knife & place the Joint in your Slow Cooker. 
  2. Add all the other ingredients & set the Slow Cooker to Low for 9-10hrs. 
  3. After cooking time pull the Joint out (it may fall apart as you take it out but that's how you know that it's done) 
  4. Place on a baking tray & shred using a Knife & Fork, use a ladle to scoop up the cooking juices & pour over the meat. 
And that is literally it! How easy is that?! 
Serve it with any food you like, I teamed mine up with Home-Made Roast Potatoes (cooked in Fry-Light) & Mixed Veg. 

 
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Wednesday, 15 February 2017

My Breastfeeding Experience...Fed is Best

 
Today I wanted to share my breastfeeding story. 

It's incredible how different one child can be from the next.

With my first born Jamie, breastfeeding was hard. It didn't come as naturally as we are meant to believe. I was only 18yrs old at the time & felt very pressured by various health professions that I should breastfeed, it was best for me & my baby etc. Jamie just wasn't latching properly, I was having a hard time keeping up my milk supply & it was taking a major emotional toll on me, throw in the mixed overwhelming new mum feelings, it was bloody hard work! I just wasn't enjoying feeding him, so after 2 weeks I switched him to formula, what a relief I felt & boy what a difference it made to myself & to Jamie, we were both happier & much more content. Happy Mum = Happy Baby. 

 

With my second born Gracie-Mae, I wanted to try breastfeeding again. But after just 5 days in I was advised to switch to formula, Gracie-Mae had lost a fair bit of weight in just those 5 days, again I had the problems with latching, I felt like a world class failure! This was meant to be the most natural thing in the world & I just couldn't get to grips with it. I wanted so desperately to breastfeed that when it didn't seem like a viable option, I broke down. 

 

So when I found out I was pregnant for the 3rd time with Isaac, I was determined I was going to breastfeed & I was going to make it work. When the time came to breastfeed Isaac, I have to admit I was worried that it wouldn't work out again & I was ready to feel like a failure all over again. Thankfully my worries were unwarranted & Isaac had the perfect latch from day one. 

 

But breastfeeding was still no walk in the park, one thing I didn't fully appreciate before I had Isaac was the frequency of feeds, especially compared to bottle feeding. I knew I'd be up at night feeding him, but I hadn't thought that would have been every 1-2 hours at a time. There was also the cluster feeding, which is basically where they want to feed constantly. My arse was permanently attached to the sofa with Isaac attached to my boobs anywhere from 4pm-10pm. And because of this I second guessed myself a lot! Was I producing enough milk? Was he getting enough at each feed? I found myself doing a hell of a lot of googling and joining a few breastfeeding support groups online. Which helped knowing that we weren't doing anything wrong & everything we were experiencing was 'normal'.
I loved breastfeeding it felt amazing that I could be the one that was nourishing my son, nursing him was the best bonding experience, there's nothing quite like it in my opinion. But it still didn't get any easier, was breastfeeding really meant to be this hard? 
We were quite lucky we didn't experience problems like Mastitis or Thrush, although Isaac did suffer with Silent Reflux, it was the constant feeding that eventually took its toll on me & I mean constant! It was the summer holidays so I had the other 2 children that needed & wanted my attention too. So when Isaac was 7 weeks old I got myself an Electric Breast Pump, this should solve all my problems, MR.B could take over some of the feeds, giving me a chance to spend some time with Jamie & Gracie, pottering about etc.. I even booked myself to get my hair done at home, Isaac had his 1st bottle of expressed milk, he wolfed that down no problem & still wanted more, so I had to breastfeed him whilst getting my hair done, not my idea as glamorous or relaxing, but hey I obviously just had one very hungry baby. 

  

When Isaac was around 9 weeks old, I thought something has got to give, my whole life it felt was revolved around just feeding, whether that be on the sofa, at the park, out shopping, round my parents, when we had visitors, everyone who met Isaac for the 1st time met a blue feeding scarf with little legs sticking out the bottom.

 

Even the pumping took its toll, I felt like a human cow, I breastfed & pumped at the same time & this was the point where I decided I needed to do something to change this or I will be heading down the slippery slope of Post-Natal Depression & I wasn't going to allow that to happen. 

 

But I still couldn't give up breastfeeding...
  1. I was enjoying the most part of it, cuddling up of the evening, watching trash on tv whilst nursing my baby.
  2. The guilt of giving up completely was so overpowering. The dreaded Mummy Guilt playing its part again. 
So we gave Combined Feeding a go, where I breastfed & formula fed.. this worked out brilliantly for all of us as a family, I felt a lot happier, the older children were a lot happier to have their Mummy back as was MR.B, he could actually spend some proper time with his Baby Son without having to hand him back to me every 5 minutes & Isaac seemed a lot more content aswell.
 We did this till Isaac was 14 weeks old & eventually he went just onto formula, he was getting lazy at each breastfeed, the milk doesn't flow as quickly as it does from a bottle, so sadly my breastfeeding journey ended. A small part of me was a little relieved, I could plan our days more easily, Isaac slotted into more of a routine. I do still miss breastfeeding but I know I done the best I possibly could. That's all anyone can do. 

There is too much pressure on new mothers to breastfeed & a big feeling of failure for those that want to but can't. At the end of the day a happy mummy is just as key to the well being of her baby as how he/she is fed in my opinion. 

 


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Mummy's Not Allowed To Get Sick...

 

Urgh. Can someone hand me a tissue? I'm feeling a bit sorry for myself today. I'm completely full up with a cold, my eyes & nose are streaming, I have a sore throat & a pounding headache that won't shift.
I said to MR.B this morning if I had a job to go to, I'd call in sick & spend the day under the duvet, sleeping it off & watching trash TV. But that's not an option for me, I have 3 children to look after, typical me falling ill during the Half-Term! Obviously it is awful to be poorly at any time, but Jesus being ill whilst in charge of a baby, 6yr old & 8yr old is like a 12 hour battle of will where only the strongest survive. 
What does a sick day look like for a stay-at-home mum? Exactly like a well day- baby still needs to be fed, meals need to be seen to, children need to be kept entertained. You can't just clock off when your poorly when your a parent. 
There's only a few things I can do to make my ill day a bit more bearable & I'm going to share them with you. Here are my sick parent survival tips. 
  • Be a sloth & do the bare minimum. Washing & housework can wait, you can catch up on everything when you are well. Just make sure everyone gets fed & stays alive. 
  • Throw your "Perfect Parent" hat out the window. You probably have wonderful routines that make you the great parent that you are. Forget all about that. Don't worry about the TV being on non-stop or the use of iPads, X-boxes etc to be used as a distraction... if the children are entertained & happy, then enjoy the time you can to relax, you are poorly after all! Your children will probably think your the best mum ever! 
  • Bring all duvets & pillows down in the living room. Make a bed on the sofa & another on the floor for the children, DVDs can be your friend, the longer the better, you want your children quiet & in a spot where you can see them with your one half-opened eye. 
  • Order in a takeaway. Means no cooking & minimal clearing up after. The children will love it. Make up for it by eating nothing but greens for a few days when you are well again. 
Remember, the key with these ideas is for you to rest as much as you can. You are NOT a bad mum because your children are not eating freshly prepared gourmet meals or they are watching a thousand episodes of Peppa bloody Pig with you on the sofa. It is perfectly acceptable for you to lay down, be lazy and Rest during this time. 

These are my excuses anyway & I'm sticking to them! I'm counting down the hours to 7pm, when baby will hopefully, fingers crossed will be going to bed & I can recoup-orate & be well for tomorrow. Hopefully. 

 


You Baby Me Mummy
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Sunday, 12 February 2017

Recipe- Salt & Pepper Chicken (Slimming World Friendly)

 

This Salt & Pepper Chicken was actually mouthwatering, 1st time I had cooked this meal and I was very impressed with how it had turned out. It's extremely filling & packed with amazing flavour! And again another Syn Free Recipe... This was a meal I made for just myself so I did alter the amount of ingredients I needed. With only 10 minutes preparation time & 40 minutes cooking, this is a meal I will definitely be cooking as a mid-week dinner for everyone as it's super easy to make and lets face it the afternoons after the school pick up can be chaotic enough as it is without having to stress about standing over a hot hob for hours just to make a healthy and substantial meal for everyone! 

Ingredients- For the S&P Chicken (serves 4)
  • 8 Chicken Fillets
  • 2-3 tbsp of Salt & Pepper Spice Mix (see below for recipe)
  • 1/2 Red Pepper, de-seeded & chopped 
  • 3x Spring Onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 Onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 Chilli, de-seeded & finely chopped
  • Frylight 
Ingredients- For the S&P Spice Mix
  • 1 tbsp Sea Salt Flakes
  • 1 tbsp Sweetner 
  • 1/2 tbsp Chinese 5 Spice
  • 1 good pinch Chilli Flakes (depending on how hot you like it) 
  • 1 tbsp Ground White Pepper
Method

Preheat the oven to 190 degrees.
  1. Toast the salt flakes in a hot pan until they start to brown, it's important to do this to get the true S&P flavour! 
  2. Mix the toasted salt and all the other spice mix ingredients together. 
  3. Sprinkle the chicken fillets with a couple of teaspoons of the spice mix. 
  4. Place them on a baking tray and cook per instruction packet, usually around 30 mins. 
  5. When the chicken is cooked heat up a wok sprayed with some frylight. 
  6. Add the spring onions, onion, chilli & peppers to the wok and cook till they start to brown slightly. 
  7. Add the chicken fillets to the wok along with 1 or 2 tbsp of spice mix, add it in bit by bit not all at once, stop when it's spicy enough. 
  8. Cook through for another 3-4 minutes, then served sprinkled with some finely chopped spring onions. 
 
I served my Salt & Pepper Chicken with Mexican Style Rice, I was being lazy as it was a pre-made packet and pinged in the microwave, it was a Saturday night after all! 

You Baby Me Mummy
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Friday, 10 February 2017

Secret Life Of A 6 Month Old

6.00am
I started to sing and flap my arms and legs about to get Mummy & Daddy's attention, still nothing, so I started to shout "Da Da Da Da" Daddy came over to me today I was so excited I started to shriek, Daddy was sshhing me, Why? I'm awake so everybody else should be awake too!

6.30am
Daddy carried me downstairs and put me in my chair, he was pulling some funny faces at me, he does make me giggle, daddy is so much fun. I could hear some laughing and talking, I recognise those voices, yes yes it was my big brother & sister, more people to make a fuss of me.

 

7.00am
Mummy came downstairs & thanked Daddy for letting her have a lie-in, what does that mean? I'm sure I heard her say that I was a pain last night, why would she say such a thing? Doesn't she know that I just missed her and wanted a cuddle?

7.30am
Daddy gave everybody a kiss & cuddle then walked out the door, I wonder where he goes all day? 
I remembered I've been up for a while and haven't had a bottle yet, started whinging, Mummy tutted & said "Doesn't Daddy do anything with you in the morning?" What does she mean? Of course he does! He plays with me and changed my bum, I remember because he always tells me I stink!

8.10am
Jamie & Gracie-Mae gave me & Mummy a kiss & cuddle then went in a taxi I think they are called, where do they go all day? 

8.30am
I was getting very tired at this point, phew this baby marlarky is hard work. Become un-tired when mummy put me in my cot. I tried the crying thing, it worked she come back in, put my music toy thing that spins round on, I didn't want that so I cranked up the crying. She gave me a kiss & told me I was tired, how does she know? I accidentally fell asleep. Will try again later. 

10.00am
Woke up feeling great, I won't let on to Mummy that she was right. Mummy said I was going to try something new today, a nana, it was so yummy! Why haven't I had this before? Got abit annoyed though, it kept slipping out of my hands, made Mummy laugh, what was she laughing at? It wasn't funny at all! 

 

11.30am
I started rubbing my eyes, how could this be? I only woke up like a minute ago? Mummy said if I slept for longer on my 1st nap then I wouldn't have been so tired, doesn't she know that there are more exciting things to do with my day? Mummy put me back in my cot & put my music on, I wasn't going to let her win this time. I made the sad whingy noises so she felt guilty whilst she was cleaning the kitchen. Turned up the volume to full blown crying, that normally gets her running to me. Mummy wonders why she bloody bothers. 

12.30pm
Lunchtime, I ate really really nicely. Lulled mummy into a false sense of security. Serves her right for trying to make me go to sleep again. 

2.00pm
Me & Mummy were playing on the floor together it was so much fun, I rolled onto my belly & was told I'm a clever boy, well I am getting the knack for it now, I then rolled back onto my back, Mummy cheered and clapped & gave me lots of kisses & cuddles, I like it when mummy does that I was abit shocked & did bang my head, but I was so happy that I done something new today, I kept doing it over & over just so I could be praised. 

3.30pm
Yay Jamie & Gracie-Mae are home, I do like playing with Mummy, but they are way more fun. They do anything they can to make me laugh. They always fight over who's going to play with me. Well I do get told I'm special. 

5.00pm
Dinner time, I managed to shove my spoon down my throat, made myself do a weird cough that didn't feel nice, I did it again straight after just to check, Mummy said I was a silly boy, how was I to know? 

5.30pm
Daddy comes home, I immediately stop crying, heard Mummy say I'd been like this all day, that was unfair, she forgot to tell him about all the fun we had today. "He rolled back onto his back today, and then he wouldn't stop!" Mummy told Daddy, "Ahh what a good clever boy you are!" Daddy said, that's better, more praise and being fussed over, those are my favourite things. 

6.00pm
Bang right on cue "WA,WA,WA" this normally gets Mummy running up the stairs to get my bath ready, I love bath-time, all the splashing and getting everybody soaked. It is a right giggle. 

7.00pm
I made sure I fell asleep in my best angelic pose this normally works. "Goodnight darling, We love you so so much" it definitely did do the trick. Will start my havoc again at dawn. 

 




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Thursday, 9 February 2017

Recipe- Italian Meatballs in Tomato Sauce (Slimming World Friendly)

 

A delicious and easy mid week meal. Just 15minutes prep time and 30 minutes in the grill & on the hob to make this extremely filling Italian dish, it's also 0 Syns on Slimming World... Bonus!
My children loved them and is a meal  I will definitely be cooking again.


Ingredients for the Meatballs- Serves 4
  • 380g lean beef mince (5% fat or less)
  • 1/2 small onion, grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed 
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tbsps chopped parsley
  • Salt & ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Chopped parsley to garnish 
Ingredients for the Tomato Sauce
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1x 400g can of chopped tomatoes 
  • 1 level tbsp of tomato purée 
  • 1 tsp of oregano
  • Salt & ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp of artificial sweetener 
Method
  1. Make the meatballs. Put the minced beef, onion, garlic, cumin, parsley and seasoning in a large bowl and mix well together. Bind with the beaten egg and then divide into 16 small portions. 
  2. Roll each one into a small ball, using your hands. Place the meatballs under a preheated hot grill and cook for about 10 minutes, until they are starting to brown and the fat stops dripping out of them. 
  3. Meanwhile, make the tomato sauce. Put all the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer gently for 10 minutes. 
  4. Add the meatballs to the tomato sauce in the pan, cover and cook gently over a low heat for about 15 minutes, until the meat is thoroughly cooked. Serve with spaghetti and sprinkle on top some chopped parsley. 
 

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Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Mummy's Guilt

 

Even when your try your absolute best, some days are just tougher than others, that's when the horrid mummy guilt takes over. I know you other mummies have been there, I certainly have, on numerous occasions. 

The days consist of love, laughter and cuddles mixed with the children misbehaving and the feeling of almost losing your shit. 
Parenting is like riding a rollercoaster, they will always have there ups and downs, it won't always be perfect.

 It's okay to hate your child's screaming tantrums and their whinging moments. 

It's okay to look and smile at your baby but dread the thought of another sleepless night with them. 

It's okay that you have days that your tired and unmotivated. 

It's okay to feel like you need a break from it all, your only human after all. 

So to all you mummies that has felt or feeling the Mummy Guilt, it's okay. Your all doing a great job! 

Here is a picture of my baby Isaac screaming blue bloody murder because I wouldn't let him take and chew my phone.. this is him trying to guilt trip mummy.  

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Tuesday, 7 February 2017

15 Confessions of a Stay At Home Mum

 
After 3 babies and quite a few years of sleep deprivation I have done a few things since becoming a mummy that I'm not proud of, and I feel it is time to come clean. Please don't judge me, I'm not a bad person really.

  1. I have used my children to get out of things I have been invited to.                                                                                            
  2. I sometimes watch my partner sleeping peacefully while I have been up all night with the baby and debate whether punching him in the face is a good idea. 
  3. Some days I have cried more than the baby.
  4. I have bribed my children with biscuits, sweets, chocolate, in return for their good behaviour. Mummy 0 - Children 1.
  5. Some days I don't get dressed until it is almost dinner time, and on those days I mean have a quick shower and put on new pjs. 
  6. When a mummy friend tells me her baby is sleeping through the night, I mentally punch her in the face. 
  7. Running out of coffee reduces me to tears. 
  8. I have often told the children that mummy has a headache because I dont want to hear the recorder being played for the umpteenth time.
  9. I have skipped pages in a bedtime story just so that the children could go to bed abit earlier.
  10. Have picked sleep over nookie, Terrible, Terrible wife I hear you say, it's not that I don't love my partner, but parenting is exhausting work at times! 
  11. Running out of wine reduces me to tears.
  12. I have taken the batteries out of a noisy toy and have claimed it was broken. 
  13. I would love some Me Time, I have forgotten the meaning of this term. At the end of the day my needs are simple, having a shower, going to the toilet or finishing that hot coffee *ahem* Wine *ahem* in peace. 
  14. Everyone tells you to enjoy the time you have with your kids while they are still young, but sometimes I am just so tired and worn out, enjoying them just feels like more work! 
  15. Most days I feel like I have no idea what I'm doing, everyone thinks I have it all together, good wife, good mother, but I really don't. I'm ready to stop pretending to be perfect now. 
I may moan about my children, they drive me mad most days, they keep me up all night, but I bloody love my children, I love being a stay at home mum and I wouldn't change that for the world. 

 


You Baby Me Mummy
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Monday, 6 February 2017

Recipe- Stuffed Chicken Escalopes (Slimming World Friendly)

 

 This meal is one of my new favourite go to evening dinners, because it tastes absolutely amazing, totally syn free and seriously substantial!
Using both your Healthy Extra B and Healthy Extra A choices, this is a meal that’ll keep you going and satisfy the whole family! It’s also one that they’ll never even realise is healthy which is a big bonus for many people out there.
I really can’t recommend this recipe enough if you’re looking for a warm, healthy and syn free dinner! You can’t beat melted cheese for chasing away these cold February days!
It takes about 20 minutes preparation time and 25-30 minutes in the oven so it is a really quick and easy healthy meal to cook especially if your like me and have a busy brood to run around after.

Ingredients - Feeds 4 people

  • 4x Chicken Breasts
  • 6x Slices of Wholemeal Bread 
  • 2tbsp Mixed Herbs
  • Salt & Pepper (to taste)
  • 8x Slices Ham
  • 200g Fresh Mozzarella
  • 3x Egg
  • Fry Light
Method

1. Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees. Prepare a baking    
    tray, either sprayed with fry light or with a sheet of 
    baking paper.

2. Beat your chicken breasts until they are wide and 
    flat ( about 1cm thick).

3. Layer one side of each with 2 slices of ham and 50g 
    of mozzarella. Then wrap the chicken around the 
    fillings so that they are totally encased. Place seam 
    side down. 

4. Toast your bread and allow to cool, blend in a food 
    processor until you have breadcrumbs.

5. Mix in the mixed herbs and season with salt & 
    pepper. Pour breadcrumbs into a bowl. 

6. Whisk the eggs in a separate bowl. 

7. Dip a chicken breast into the egg mixture then into 
    your breadcrumbs making sure you completely 
    cover the chicken. Repeat with all the chicken 
    breasts and place them on the baking tray.

8. Cook for 25-30 minutes, until cooked through and 
    the breadcrumbs are golden brown. 
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Saturday, 4 February 2017

Review- The Cygnet Home-Birth Team


I really couldn't recommend this team enough, I opted for a home-birth with my 3rd baby as my last 2 labours were very quick and I loved the idea of being at home. 
The midwives on the team were there from day one supporting MR.B & I throughout the whole pregnancy and birthing process, they were always respectful of the decisions we made and putting our minds at rest from the worries we had. 
Ali was there with me, my partner and our 2 children whilst I was in labour and Jo came in as my 2nd midwife ( who was brilliant keeping my 2 children entertained.)
 We really can not thank them enough, and would not hesitate in recommending this team for anyone considering a home-birth.

Here are just a few more reasons to consider a home-birth:
  • All midwife appointments are at home rather than the hospital/ GP surgery.
  • I didn't have to make the horrid journey to hospital on the day. 
  • I was far more relaxed at home. 
  • I had the devoted attention of 2 midwives throughout- no sharing and no shift changes. 
  • You still get the options to use a birthing pool and the Gas&Air.
  • Afterwards the midwives tidied everything away and left my partner, children & I in our own home- no having to leave while I stayed in an alien environment. 


It's a memory my Family & I will treasure forever. 


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Friday, 3 February 2017

Home-Birth Experience


Soon after finding out I was pregnant with my third baby, I decided I would try for a home-birth. Home-birth was something I never even considered or knew much about with my 2 other children. I was tempted by the idea based on sheer convenience. My midwife appointments would be at my home rather than at the hospital or my GP, Bonus! This also added in my favour as I suffered with horrendous SPD which I hadn't experienced with my last 2 pregnancies. I also wouldn't have to endure the journey to the hospital on the day baby decided to make their debut appearance, so the idea totally made sense to me.
MR.B was slightly worried about the idea, so I registered us with The Cygnet Home-Birth Team and had our 1st home appointment a few days later. Karen, one of the midwives on the team, popped over and completely put his mind and mine at ease about everything and he was excited about the idea just as much as I was.
Having my MW appointments at home were amazing in themselves as I could pick a time and day that suited me and my family, so I always made sure my other 2 children were home so they could be involved as much as possible.
The labour itself kicked off the morning of 03/08/16, 12 days after my EDD, after having my 7th sweep!! This baby just did not want to budge, stubborn like his father already!
My contractions were very mild at this stage and only 2cm dilated, so I carried on my day as normal, we took the children to the park, went home and I cooked the dinner, then we took the children down to the local stream for a walk and a paddle, I just wanted to keep upright and moving, anything to help baby hurry their way out. But by 8pm the contractions were still fairly spaced out but boy were they painful! I remember all I kept thinking was 'Why doesn't my baby want to come out?!' A long labour was not what I was used to experiencing, my first was 6 hours from start to Jamie being born and my second was 4 hours from start to Gracie-Mae being born. I was told by various friends and professions that your 3rd labour is always the easiest and quickest, they were all way off the mark where my labour was concerned!!
10pm contractions were getting closer together and a lot more painful so MR.B phoned the midwife triage, they asked if I'd like a midwife to come out and examine which I agreed to. Ali the midwife that was on-call arrived about 20 minutes later, which by that time my contractions had slowed right down again, WHY?!! She examined me and I was still just 2cm dilated, what the actual F***! This can not be happening! I had yet another sweep and was exhausted by this point so I decided to try and get some sleep. Little did I know I wouldn't be getting much of that!
 Contracting all through the night I gave up on the idea of sleep and started bouncing on my ball, something had to work, anything! The children woke up at 7am and were both disappointed that baby didn't arrive whilst they were sleeping, so was I, I wanted to cry but I held it together for them. 8.30am and I knew I needed the midwife, MR.B phoned and within 20 minutes Ali arrived, she took one look at me and put together the trusty gas&air, a few puffs on that later i was feeling slightly more comfortable, just what I needed gas&hair is amazing stuff! MR.B kept the children occupied in the living room whilst I was bouncing on my ball, the labour was progressing but slowly. Ali done her checks to make sure baby was doing all okay, then I had a sudden urge to pee, and I needed to pee a lot during the labour, every time I sat on the loo I would get a huge almighty contraction and felt a pushing, it must have been the squatting position, I remember thinking 'Oh my god my baby is going to be born down the toilet!'
Ali asked if I wanted to be examined again, I agreed, so 11am and I was only 5cm dilated, 'how can this be happening, I should have my baby in my arms by now surely?!' Not long after this the 2nd midwife turned up Jo, which was helpful as she helped with the children so MR.B could give me his 100% attention. Jo spotted Gracie-Mae's step-stool and suggested me to start stepping up and down on it, 'Was she mad? I'm in labour not an exercise class!' I did as suggested and after a while the contractions started to come thick and fast, maybe she wasn't that mad.
 Even though my contractions were there my waters had still not broken, I pleaded with them to break them for me, I was getting desperate at this point, I didn't know how much longer I could go on for! Ali wanted me to give it another half hour to see if anything happens, I agreed half-heartedly. MR.B was encouraging me to keep going with the steps Up, Down, Up, Down, I was clinging onto him in agony.
2.30pm my waters were broken for me, YES! I literally felt baby move right down, then oh my f*****g word, the pain, I felt like I was being torn in two, the pain wasn't this bad with my other 2, I'm sure it wasn't. Half clinging onto MR.B, half stood bent over the baby's soon to be cot, I pushed and pushed and with a gush of more water, the head, shoulders and body, my baby was finally here! I looked over and saw my baby for the 1st time and saw the little willy in between his legs, 'ITS A BOY, WE HAVE A BABY BOY!' I was sobbing, MR.B was sobbing, the children cheering in the living room, was such a wonderful moment. I moved over to the bed so I could cuddle my new baby boy, I chose to have the injection to birth the placenta. MR.B then had a cuddle whilst I was getting the all clear and cleaned up.
I could hear the children so desperate to come in, so 10 minutes after baby boy was born, Jamie & Gracie-Mae met their new baby brother, I wanted time to stand still, it was such a magical moment, I teared up just swelling with pride. Baby boy ( we still needed a name) then had his checks and MR.B got him dressed.
Jamie & Gracie-Mae were true little superstars throughout the whole day, some may think we were selfish to have them there with us, they chose themselves that they wanted to stay out and I'm so glad they did as we personally wouldn't have had it any other way.
Ali & Jo were happy me & baby were doing well, he latched on straight away, all our checks were fine, so after an hour of baby boy being born they both said their goodbyes and left us to it, it did feel very strange, a surreal like moment, but it was so nice to be in my own home, having a wash in my own bathroom, settle down on my own sofa with a cup of Tea & Toast with our new baby boy.
Our family was complete.

Isaac James Barnett
Born: 04/08/16   13 days late, 30hrs+ labour
Time: 14:58
Weight: 7lbs 13oz

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Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Meet My Crazy Brood...

MR.B & I 

MR.B & I grew up together on the same street from the ripe age of 13! Roll on another 13 years and 3 children later and we are still going strong, we may drive each other insane from time to time, but we do love each other really, honest!

Jamie

Jamie is 8 years old (born 2008) very nearly 9! Wow time really does fly once you start having children! He is totally fanatical about Pokemon and would play the game nonstop on his Nintendo 3DS if we would let him, he likes Swimming, Reading, Football and loves nothing more than having a family movie night with pizza, he loves his pizza! 

Gracie-Mae

Gracie-Mae is 6 years old (born 2010) she is obsessed with Shopkins and Dollys, she loves performing she is our little star in the making, she also likes Swimming, Reading, Dressing up and loves nothing more than going out and having adventures be it rain or shine. 

Isaac

Isaac is our newest member of the family and is 6 months old (born 2016) he is currently developing his personality, he loves nothing more than Singing and Music, his older siblings, Cuddles and Food! 




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