Teddy’s Pre Op

The twins have suffered with glue ear since they were around 12 months old .. maybe even earlier !! It’s not a pleasant thing to deal with .. not for them or us ! It’s a yucky sticky overflow oozing from the inner ear and often dripping off onto their clothes .. constant bouts of ear drops and antibiotics didn’t ever help very much for very long ! So before their 2nd birthday they went into hospital to have bilateral grommets … yes two children on the same day one after the other on the theatre list ! No stress or anything !!!

Now whilst for Frank the grommets did the job and he was discharged from the ENT dept 12 months later , for Ted it was a completely different story !For 4 more years he has battled on until now .. it has got to the point where his clear ear days are far far fewer than his icky ucky gunky ear days ! It’s got to the stage where his peers are noticing the rancid smell of rotting flesh coming from his left ear … it’s got to the point where my outgoing , school loving , everybody’s pal little boy is clingy & doesn’t want to go to school ! So we have said yes to the docs .. we have said go ahead to the surgeon .. My baby is having a tympanoplasty …(the surgical operation performed for the reconstruction of the eardrum (tympanic membrane)!)

I’m not going to lie but I feel physically sick when I think of him going under a GA . I become engulfed by this all encompassing panic … but I know that for his quality of life that I have to sweep aside all my own nueroses .. all my own fears .. and be a strong supportive Mummy for my boy !! it’s hard .. but I have to , to make sure he is calm & settled and ready to face the weeks of pain & healing to come …

Today we had his pre op .. and my brave little boy answered all the questions , watched the DVD very closely and was happy to ask questions > He was weighed , measure, had his blood pressure and pulse rate measured .. and he took it all in his stride .. I couldn’t have been more proud !

Now we just wait for next Tuesday … and we say our prayers !! Oh and we eat burgers and smile …..


The Great British Budget

Join the Great British Budget Challenge

I have taken the plunge and joined the panel of The Great British Budget !! What’s this I hear you cry ?? This is a challenge to show how we can budget to make ends meet or to save for that something special with making a few tweaks to how we manage at the moment !!!

I am taking part in this campaign to try and save money towards a family holiday … a luxury some of us can’t afford without budgeting carefully all year round !! As a busy mum of 3 I need to be able to budget successfully to ensure all our needs are met ! I aim to do this by savvy shopping , planning and saving !! This month I will be bringing you tips on how to stretch that weekly shop into wholesome meals for every day & night of the week …recipes to help you achieve that … and how to make sure you don;t have to go without just for those small luxuries in life ! This is my promise to you and my challenge to myself !

I’m not known for being the best at budgeting .. always being lured into buying that extra something just in case so this is as much of a major challenge for me as it will be for you !!

Fancy joining in ??? Then please please do … You can find out all the information you need by visiting http://www.yourwealth.co.uk/great-british-budget/

Throughout February Your Wealth are challenging people to create a budget and to stick to it! Challenge Accepted !!!
They also have a fab tool that is available to help you manage all of your outgoings , this is available as an app for your phone so that you’re always able to be in control your finances.

So why not follow our journey on twitter .. @YourWealthUk

and join in the photo challenge … don’t forget to use the hashtag #GreatBritishBudget ( you’ll be entered into a prize draw to win one of 4 £50 Love2Shop vouchers …. can’t be bad !!)


I look forward to sharing with you … !! Happy Budgeting folks .. February is our month for change !!!!!

It’s happening … December that is !!


Well folks .. it’s happening ! It really is .. December has arrived and Christmas looms … ! The boys are all excited .. in their own little way … The twins are busy preparing for the school nativity play  where Frank is an Angel (oh the irony) and Ted is a Roman Soldier !!! (Because he needs the encouragement and all that … sarc!!)  and they are spending their evenings regaling me with tales of rehearsals and a constant buzz of carols in my ear ( My poor head …) ! The teenager is just looking forward to a fortnight of unadulterated Xboxing …. of not having to get dressed ever and living for that constant IV drip of Mountain Dew !!

The husband will be working .. as a lorry driver delivering gas  he’s always needed … pubs ,restaurants, hospitals etc are still open .. so the wagons are still rollin’ !!!

Me ? I’m running around like the proverbial fly with blue bits  trying to satisfy all my customers  cake & confection needs , trying to organise a Christmas Fair  for charity ( Incidently .. anyone local it’s at Boulton lane baptist Church , Alvaston , Derby December 14th 10 am -1pm ) Alll money raised is for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust in honour of a special young man I have known since he was born who lives with this dreadful illness ….. and the Boulton Lane Community Garden Project !


Anyway .. on top of this I’ll be making sure that those blue eyed boys of mine have a fantastic , fun filled Christmas time … Keep an eye on the blog for what we get up to !! (Sssssh don’t tell the boys but we’re off to see Santa this week ….. !! Wooohoooooooo !! )

I hope you’re all enjoying this period of Advent .. let’s no forget to sit and reflect during this period !!! Along with all the fun , games , love and laughter (and sometimes tears) … let’s remember what Christmas is all about ! For me it represents FAMILY … being a family , a community  !! And that’s how I like it !!! Merry Christmas …. (I’m sure thats not the last time I’ll say that this year ) xx

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Go Ape !

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Last weekend I sent my eldest son (13) and the husband off for a Boys afternoon at Go Ape in Cannock Chase ! The day was grey , damp and cold and I wondered  just how well they would fare ( Being fully aware that Bill is more a Square eyed gamer kind of teen !!! GULP !!) ! We waved them off and settled down in front of the fire with Harry Potter and a bag of popcorn :) (Hee hee …)

They arrived at Cannock Go Ape!  and were inducted by a trainer about the use of equipment , were fitted with safety harnesses and were able to get used to the ropes, ladders and zipslides on a training apparatus which was comfortably low ! And then they were off …

Hee hee !!

Hee hee !!

At Cannock Chase in Staffordshire, you’ll see some of the most beautiful views during your day out in our forest. We’ve used our traditional Tree Top Adventure recipe: One lush forest, breathtaking scenery, a smattering of tree-top high wires, crossings and wind-in-your-face zip wires.

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Billy the teen … whilst quite adventurous in so many ways , found some of the trails a little bit too high for his liking and stayed on the ground if he felt it would be a bit much for him ! Which is totally fine as he attempted and loved the ones he felt able and brave enough to !!! He absolutely loved the zipslides … finding them exhilirating and giving him an enormous sense of freedom !!!! The husband said that when Billy was on the zipslide he came alive !!! That immense joy just oozed from his glowing , laughing face !!!! That’s got to be worth an afternoon out if nothing else !!!!

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Chris , an established climber , found the day absolutely brilliant .. loving the high wires, zipslides  and the overall  experience !!

Billy really really wanted to have a go on the Segways that are at Go Ape … but we reckon we’ll save that for another day !!!

Overall , the boys had a fantastic (though cold) afternoon out !! Definitely a good day out for the intrepid adventurer .. full of adrenalin rushes and pushing yourself beyond your limits …. What limits ???? !!!!

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This is a perfect Christmas gift for an adventure lover! With voucher denominations from just £5 up to £60, the lucky gorilla can use the gift voucher for up to a year after purchase. Visit goape.co.uk  to check out all the locations and adventures at this fantastic fun family day out !!!!

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Billy & Chris were very kindly given vouchers to review Go Ape ! Many thanks ! x

The Anagranimals ….

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” Far , far away, beyond the mountains and across the sea , on the banks of a mighty lake and shrouded in trees , lies a mysterious land called Pogo Bogo …. ” and it’s here we meet the group of friends who are to become The Anagranimals …..

The story introduces us to the characters of George the Giraffe , Pedro the Pig , Heidi the Hippo , Rocky the Rhino, Ebeneezer the Elephant and Lancelot the lion  and we follow them through this adventure of them making a wish at the Wishing Tree  and become a mishmash of each other and other Pogo Bogo animals  … so Rocky the Rhino  becomes  a Rhino- Parra -Rog !!! And as for the others .. they all become other weird and wonderful animal creations … and so the Anagranimals are born ….

The story engaged the twins fully .. they loved the concept of the animals all getting mixed up and were excited to work out just exactly what animals had mixed into the others … ! The story is cleverly written to target the 5-8 year age market and fits perfectly into that demographic ! the boys enjoyed reading along with me , each taking it in turn to read a page each  thus being able to be more involved in the story !!

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A thoroughly enjoyable book  filled with intrigue , excitement , fun and laughter … Perfect for a bedtime read ! I would recommend this story and am looking forward to the next book in the series … however .. if you didn’t want to wait for the next book .. there is the option to go online and see what adventures the intrepid group of friends delve into next ….

Life on Pogo Bogo will never be the same again ……….

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You can find out more at http://www.anagranimals.com

The Anagranimals and the Wishing Tree by Leith Moghli ( Illustrations by Ian King)  was sent to me to review .

Crafts for Christmas ,Hobbycrafts & Art Materials Live Giveaway


The boys and I are not the most crafty of people … actually , the boys are very creative and love to make things … It’s a skill I need to nurture and lovingly craft … I’m determined to teach myself crochet .. but thats for another time !!!

Crafts for Christmas is being held at the NEC , Birmingham next month and I am quite excited about popping along and picking up a few handmade , special Christmas presents … why don’t you join me ???


We have teamed up with the organisers of Crafts for Christmas, Hobbycrafts & Art Materials Live to

offer 1 lucky readers a chance to win a pair of tickets to this fantastic show which is taking place at

the Birmingham, NEC from the 7-10 November.


To be in with a chance of winning this pair of tickets leave a comment below telling me what craft you would love to learn !

With three shows for the price of one, visitors can embrace the magic of Christmas with a huge selection

of handmade gifts and crafts from hundreds of exhibitors. In Hobbycrafts, you can stock up on all the

latest innovations and supplies from the world of creative craft or take part in one of the many free

demonstrations and workshops and find leading professional artists at Art Materials Live offering the

very latest in art supplies, ideas and innovations. For all the latest information please visit the website,



Crafts for Christmas, Hobbycrafts & Art Materials Live

NEC, Birmingham

7-10 November 2013

Ticket Prices:

Adult: £12.00 (£10.00 Advance Price)

Senior: £11.00 (£9.00 Advance Price)

Children free if accompanied by an adult with a valid ticket, otherwise £5.00

2 Day Ticket (Advance Only) Adults: £17.00 Senior: £15.00

All advanced tickets need to be ordered by 5pm Mon 4 November

For more information or to book tickets please visit http://www.ichfevents.co.uk. Alternatively, phone the Ticket

Hotline on 01425 277988.

Follow us on Twitter @thecraftshows or like us on Facebook – ICHF

**Giveaway closes on October 30th 2013 8pm

** Winner will be chosen at random and notified by 31st October 2013

** If the winner has not replied by Midnight (GMT UK) on November 2nd 2013 another winner will be chosen , again, at random.

** Judges decision is final.

And the winner is …… HURNAE !!!

The competition is now closed > thanks to all who entered x

INSET days are sent to try us ….

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I had totally forgotten that the twins had an INSET day last Friday … so there I was clocking up the overtime at work planning out my Friday overtime and quietly planning how much of Christmas said overtime would pay for … when I got a text from school … Gleefully reminding me that the kids were off …*PUFF** thats my overtime bonus that is  ..puffing its way out the door …. !!! Hay ho …

So instead I wondered about  what to do with the boys ….Unfortunately the weather was pretty dire so we instead decided on a day of films , housework and Dr Who !! So after a leisurely morning watching  Harry Potter , the boys ( who love housework… strange children!!) helped me to hoover and polish and sweep and wash … and before we knew it , it was time for  a tea break and a few episodes of Dr Who ( The Tenth Doctor .. for reference !! :) !! )…

I promised the boys they could make pizza for tea … so whilst they immersed themselves in Daleks and Cybermen , I toddled off to the kitchen to make pizza dough . the boys then came and rolled out the dough and topped it .. quite liberally in ham & cheese … They love to help out and they love to cook ! F more than T .. who has a tendency to get bored and wander off halfway through anything .. ready to start a new challenge ! Always busy …

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By the time B got in from school and C got home from work  , the twins and I were exhausted !!! The dog was fed up of us being in his front room all day and I was one happy, contented  little Mummy ( If a little stressy … but thats normal !!) So I didn’t really mind the INSET day .. and certainly didn’t mind missing my overtime ( though undeniably the extra cash would have been fab) … What I did get in return was a day with my boys … a day of us being us .. just doing “stuff” together … PERFECT !!!

Here’s the recipe used for our pizza dough ….

  • 300g strong bread flour
  • 1 tsp instant yeast (from a sachet or a tub)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling

Put the flour into a large bowl, then stir in the yeast and salt. Make a well, pour in 200ml warm water and the olive oil and bring together with your hands ( Yeah it’s messy!!)  until you have a soft, fairly wet dough.

Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 mins until smooth. Cover with a tea towel and set aside. Leave in a warm place for 30 mins to prove.

Now, roll it out and top with your tomato passata/puree ( whichever takes your fancy ) … how about a BBQ sauce instead ( My personal fave from my days working at “The Hut” … then top with whatever toppings you like ! The boys chose cheese and ham .. but let your imagination run wild !! YUM.

Bake at 220 degrees for approx 10 minutes … Now EAT !

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