I think I'm getting old.....

Saturday, 21 May 2016

At 32, I wouldn't class myself as "old", but I'm starting to wonder!



It all started in the supermarket yesterday.

I was talking to a lovely girl at the till and we were chatting about the football stickers I'd bought for Mikey. She then started talking about what she used to collect at school, so I mentioned Pogs and Tazos. She suddenly had a blank look on her face. She had no idea what I was talking about!



I didn't know when it happened, but after I thought about it, I think I've been spotting the signs for a while.

Music
I love music and like to think I'm quite good at recognising bands and songs, and although I can't beat my mum, I'm pretty good at Beat the Intro too!
However, I don't understand it anymore! It all starts to sound the same and I've found myself switching from my local radio station to Radio 2 more, and not just for Pop Master!


Going Out 
The idea of going out at night makes me so tired! When I was younger, I used to love going out to the pub or club with friends. As I got older, I used to go out for meals instead, but now, as it gets to 7pm, I no longer want to be out eating out. I want to putting my pjs on!


Fashion
What are kids wearing?! I'm sure this is something that people used to say when I was growing up. Platform trainers, crop tops and  (The Spice Girls had a lot to answer for!)

I've been thinking the same thing when I've been picking Mikey up from school. It's not the girls though. The older boys all wear skinny black trousers that are turned up with white socks. Very strange!


Drink
When someone asks if I want a drink, I don't think alcohol, I think tea! I've always liked tea, but I think my husband's love of it has rubbed off on me. I must drink about 3-4 cups of tea a day, if not more! There's nothing better than a cup of tea after a busy day :)



I'm sure there are many more signs, and I'm sure that some of it is because I'm a mum. I'm only 32, but if getting old means pyjamas and a cup of tea, I'm okay with it!

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

A Surprise Trip to the Seaside

Monday, 16 May 2016

Yesterday, we decided to go on a surprise trip to the seaside. At half past seven, my husband suddenly whispered, "let's go to the seaside today." He had to be quiet, because if Mikey heard him, he'd be bouncing off the walls. We had to move in secret agent mode!

Mark got ready while I packed a picnic, we made up an excuse for leaving the house at 8am and jumped into the car.

An hour or so later, we arrived at Hunstanton.
Success! We had managed to distract Mikey throughout the whole journey.  As Mikey is nearly 12, it's hard to fool him, so we were really pleased with ourselves!





After a nice walk along the sea front, we went to The Sealife Centre. We've been a few times throughout the years and it's always a great place to take the kids. We were also looking forward to seeing the changes after it was flooded in the bad weather a while ago.

Now Dot is a typical toddler. She is a very noisy child! She is always chatting, squealing or screaming, however she was so quiet the whole time we were there. She loves animals and was in awe of everything she saw.

For those who have never been to The Sealife Centre, there's so much to see! We even got to tickle a starfish and watch the otters and seals being fed!







After a couple of hours at The Sealife Centre, we enjoyed a picnic and then went for a walk. Dot had fallen asleep but it meant that we could go for a walk a little further afield and also hit the arcades! Mikey loves the 2p machines, but then who doesn't!

We had a really brilliant day. It was Dot's first proper trip to the seaside and it was great to see her reaction to it all. It was also really lovely to watch Mikey walking with Dot and chatting to her. He's such a great big brother.

I think that both Dot and Mikey had a good day too. They were both asleep within minutes of getting in the car to go home!

Free From Meatloaf

Friday, 13 May 2016

Since I found out I can't eat gluten anymore, I've been trying out new recipes and adapting them according to how the whole family react to them.

As you may already know, Mikey also has food allergies, so the recipes also have to be safe for him.


Last night, I finally perfected a recipe for meatloaf. I'd always heard of it, but never tasted it until recently.

It's perfect for using up leftovers or if you haven't got a lot of ingredients in the cupboards.

What I also like is that is gluten, egg and dairy free. Perfectly safe for all four of us!


Here is the recipe:


Free From Meatloaf


you will need:


500g Mince Beef
16 Rashers of Streaky Bacon
1/4 Onion
1 Gluten Free Stock Cube
Pinch of Salt
Pinch of Pepper
Oil (I use spray oil)






1. Finely chop the onion.
2. Put mince beef into a bowl, and add the salt and pepper. Sprinkle over the stock cube.
3. Add the chopped onion and mix well with your hands. It's great fun for the kids to do!
4. Preheat the oven to gas mark 4/180 C.
5. Spray/grease the inside of a loaf tin.
6.Line the base of the longest sides of the tin with the streaky bacon rashers. It works better if they overlap.
7. Chop any excess bacon rashers and add to the beef mince mixture.
8. Place the mince mixture into the tin and press firmly. Wrap the bacon over the mixture.
9. Cook for 45 minutes. Allow to rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.



I hope you enjoy!

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Monkey and Mouse

Free From Cranberry Oat Cookies

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

These cookies are gluten free, egg free and dairy free!


Free From Cranberry Oat Cookies


Makes: approx. 20 cookies

you will need:


550g Gluten Free Oats
100g Cranberries
100g Sugar
3/4 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
3 tbsp. Oil
6 tbsp. Soya Milk
Pinch of salt




1. Mix the oats, sugar, bicarbonate of soda and the salt together.
2. Add the cranberries, and oil. mix well.
3. Slowly, add the milk, stirring as you go.
4. Preheat the oven to gas mark 5/190 C.
5. Roll into balls and squash slightly and place on a baking tray. Bake for around 8-10 minutes.
6. Rest on tray for a few minutes, then serve.



Notes:

Don't be worried if the mixture appears dry after adding the milk. when forming balls, the mixture soon comes together.

The cookies may appear soft when taking out of the oven. Don't be tempted to put them back in again though. They'll soon harden slightly.





I hope you enjoy!

 







Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Monkey and Mouse

Gluten Free Cheesy Nibbles

Friday, 6 May 2016

This is a gluten free recipe based on a recipe for cheese crackers by The Pioneer Woman.


Gluten Free Cheesy Nibbles

This recipe is great for parties, picnics or just a yummy snack!

Makes: approx. 150 little nibbles

you will need:


1 cup Gluten Free Plain Flour
4 tbsp. Margarine/Butter
230g Strong Cheese
3 tbsp. Ice Water
Pinch of salt
Pinch of Cayenne Pepper




1. Put the cheese, flour, butter, salt, and cayenne pepper into the food processor and pulse for 15-20 seconds, until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs.
2. Add the ice water and pulse again until the dough starts coming together.
3. Form into a dough, wrap and place in the fridge to rest for an hour.
4. Preheat the oven to gas mark 4/160 C.
5. Roll out the dough until it is a 1/4 of an inch thick and then cut into any shape you like!
6. Place nibbles on a baking tray and bake for 15 minutes.
7. Rest on tray for a few minutes, then serve.



Variations:

Peri Peri: For an extra kick, I used a pinch of peri peri seasoning. Only use a bit though. It really packs a punch!

Cheese: Experiment with the cheese. I used Red Leicester and it really changed the taste compared to the Mature Cheese nibbles. All still yummy though!



I hope you enjoy!

 



A Cornish Mum

Monkey and Mouse

Name It Labels: Giveaway!

Saturday, 30 April 2016


You may have seen my previous blog post where we very lucky to be able to review some brilliant products from Name It Labels.





Name It Labels offer an amazing range of different labels, stickers and personalised items, suitable for any age. They don't just cater for children either. There are also some great items for adults!





Well, now you have a chance to try out their range too. Name It Labels are giving away £20 vouchers to two lucky people!


To enter, just fill in the form below. Good luck!



a Rafflecopter giveaway



Competition terms and conditions can be found here


To find out more, Name It Labels can be found here:  http://www.nameitlabels.co.uk. They can also be found on Twitter and Facebook.

Cuddle Fairy

Name It Labels: Name Labels and Personalised Gifts

Monday, 11 April 2016


As a mum, naming and labelling things is second nature. We have to name shoes, school uniform, bags, hats etc. The list seems endless!


Well the lovely people at Name It Labels have made that job easier. They offer an amazing range of different labels, stickers and personalised items.





We were lucky enough to be sent some of them!


In our family, we get together quite a lot. Not always planned, but there are four of us, all with our own families, so when we visit my parents, it gets chaotic. Things can get lost or taken home in the wrong bag. Once, I left my Mum and Dad's house with my sister's car keys in my bag!


However, Dot's things are now labelled! I had never thought about stickers before, but these are microwave and dishwasher proof.


This is what they looked like after they came out of the dishwasher:


I was sceptical at first and thought that they would peel straight off, but after a dozen washes, they still look as if they are brand new on!



Mikey was lucky enough to be sent a very cool personalised boot bag. As he's nearing 12, he didn't like the idea of a picture with his name, but Name It Labels also have a range of Name Only personalised items, which is perfect for older people.


He's used the boot bag for school, and despite how muddy his boots get, the bag can put up with it. It's wipe clean inside and has an eyelet for ventilation so the air can get to them.  For any mum that's opened a PE bag after half term will know what I mean when I say that a wipe clean inside and ventilation is a good thing!




I was also lucky enough to be sent something. Some wheelie bin stickers! Now for those of you who think I'm a bit strange thinking that wheelie bin stickers are great, you need to see them!






I never liked just having plain numbers, and I love how different they are. I'm not the only one either. I've had a few enquiries from neighbours and even a passer-by ask me where I got them from.




Name It Labels have such a great range of items and everything can be personalised, from the colour of the stickers to the pictures that go with them.
What I also like is that the items are also really affordable, which is great :)


To find out more, Name It Labels can be found here:  http://www.nameitlabels.co.uk. They can also be found on Twitter and Facebook.


We were sent these items in return for an honest review. All opinions are our own.



Cuddle Fairy

A Cornish Mum

ethannevelyn

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Finders Keepers Jewels: Review

Thursday, 7 April 2016

As a mum of a little one, I stopped wearing necklaces a few years ago. Now Dot is getting older, I like the idea of wearing necklaces again, but I've not found any I can see my self wearing.

However, Finders Keepers Jewels have a great range of beautiful necklaces, suitable for any occasion. There is something for everyone.

For those of you who haven't heard of them before, Finders Keepers Jewels is a jewellery store that runs through social media.

I was very lucky to be sent a necklace to see what I thought.


Double Wings


The Back 

It's perfect.
It's lovely, stylish and is really detailed. Even on the back, it's so pretty :)

Finders Keepers Jewels have a great range. Here's a few of their other items:






I could see myself wearing any of these!

I really recommend  Finders Keepers Jewels. Everything is so pretty and as each necklace is only £15, all really affordable too.

They'd also be perfect for presents for friends and family, although I think I could see myself keeping anything I'd buy from them!

After receiving this, I've only taken it off for bed. I love it!


To find out more about Finders Keepers Jewels, you can find them on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and their email for orders is finderskeepersjewels@hotmail.com.

I was sent this necklace in return for an honest review. As always, all opinions are my own.




Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

24 Hours of Football

Monday, 4 April 2016

seem to be one for taking on projects lately! Not only are we renovating the garden, but I'm helping to organise an event called "24 Hours of Football".

For those who don't know, in my non-blogging life, I'm an unofficial secretary!

My husband is the chairman of the supporters club for our local football team. I am his unofficial secretary, writing, typing, printing and creating various tables, predictors and minutes from meetings as well as running the club shop on match days.
It's hard work, but I secretly enjoy it!

Well, to add to the fun, in the off season, the supporters club is looking at fundraising for a stand for the fans, as well as raising money for charity.

 It was decided that we could run a community event, where local football clubs, businesses and community groups could enter teams to take it turns to play 7 a side football for a grand total of 24 hours!

I didn't realise how much organising it would take. As Mark works, I've been writing notes, planning and brainstorming. So far my notebook looks a complete mess!

On my list of things we need, I've got:

  • Players (!)
  • First aiders
  • Referees 
  • Gazebo/pop up tents (for heat)
  • Footballs/bibs
  • Video/photography (for social media coverage)
  • Refreshments - BBQ for day time?
  • Volunteers- refreshments
  • Crowdfunding page (for sponsorship)
  • Online registration
  • Floodlights and generator (for night games)

Luckily, we have a location. Our local football ground. However, it is everything else that needs sorting!

We've only got a couple of months to organise everything. I'm worried I'm a little bit out of my depth!

I have so many ideas, and I really hope we do a good job. I would love for this to be a great community event for the local area. 


Has anyone else run an event like this? Is there anything I've not got on my list?


Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Garden: A Brand New Look

Thursday, 31 March 2016

We've talked about updating the garden for a long time, but like most things, it's been put on the back burner.

However, over the next few months, my husband and I, with the help of our unsuspecting family, will be giving the garden an overhaul!

We're not just talking about new planting and weeding though. We're giving the garden a brand new look!


Here's what it looks like now.  Please ignore the paddling pool and goal in the corner!







And here's what we're planning on doing:

Artificial Grass:


We decided that artificial grass would be a great idea. It's perfect for the kids and will mean that Mark won't be out mowing it every other day in the summer!


I was a bit sceptical to begin with as I thought that artificial grass looked exactly that, but we have found some by NamGrass that looks great and I love the name. It's called Meadow!



Seating Area:

As we eat outside as often as we can in the summer, we wanted a seating area in the back right hand corner instead of chairs and table (and the paddling pool!)

Mark suggested something called Gabion Boxes as a base for the seating area and as a wall/back rest.  Although they can look a bit industrial, we're going to add planting to them to soften the look.

We'll then add a wooden seat across the boxes and then some comfy cushions :)

Hopefully, it'll look something similar to this:



Sails :


Me and the sun do not get on!
To combat the heat and the sun, we're looking at different types of sails that can keep the seating area cool and look good too! What I also like about them is they're also waterproof, so unlike a parasol, we don't have to take them down when we go inside.




Different levels :


The picture at the top might not show it, but the garden has a little bit of a slope, so we're going to do a split level, with a small step half way down the garden. It's going to be hard work to level it off and create it, but that's when we'll call in our unsuspecting reinforcements! 




Raised beds :

As everything else is being raised, we decided that a raised bed would look better along the borders of the garden.  



Fire pit :


To finish the seating area off, we've decided that we'd love a nice fire pit in the centre. I've always thought it'd be great to sit around a fire and chat to family and friends on a summer evening.



So that will be our family project for the next few months. There is so much to do and it'll be really hard work, although more for Mark than me I think, bless him! 

I can't wait to see the results! 

A Cornish Mum


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Weight Loss Update- March 2016

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

I'm so pleased with myself. I remembered to write my monthly update about weight loss!


This month has been a quiet one. Here's what I've been up to:


Exercise:

Unfortunately, I've not been doing much exercise lately. I hurt my back at my local trampolining class.  I was trying to keep up with a more experienced girl in front of me and injured my back. (lesson learned!)  It's on the mend and I will be returning in the next week or so.

I have started yoga as well. I don't go to a class though. I just use a DVD and a great app called Yogaia.
Since I had Dot, my back has a tendency to play up (a lot), so my husband suggested it as a way to strengthen my back and my core in general.
This past week, I've eased myself into it, doing a small session a day. I love it! It's really helping with my back and is so calming. I'm now hooked and cant get enough!


I might be able to hold the 'Y', but I can't do the others!

Diet:

My diet is still the same. Gluten free! I'm trying to eat healthy with more protein and veg in my diet, but I'm still trying to avoid fruit. Yucky!

I'm also still eating little and often instead of larger meals and try not to eat past half past 7.



Monitoring:

I still use my Fitbit alongside "My Diet Coach."  and My Virtual Mission, although there hasn't been much of anything this month!


Figures:

So here are the numbers:


MIDDLE OF FEBRUARY '16

Weigh in:  168lb (12st)
BMI:   27.1
Waist: 35 in
Hips: 40 in
Tummy: 39 in
Bust: 40 in



END OF MARCH '16

Weigh in:  164lb (11st 10lb)
BMI:   26.4
Waist: 34 in
Hips: 40 in
Tummy: 38 in
Bust:40 in



Total loss target: 60 lb
Weight loss so far: 28lb


I still have a way to go, but I'm getting there!

Laura's Lovely Blog

Win a Hatch Card!

Friday, 25 March 2016

You may have seen my previous review of a new type of greeting card, called the Hatch Card.






Hatch Cards are Augmented Reality Greetings Cards. Don't be put off by the technical jargon! It means that thanks to a clever app, birthday cards can come to life!


Well, the very nice people at Hatch Cards have given you an opportunity to win a Hatch Card every month for the next six months!


For your chance to win this month's Hatch Card, enter the Rafflecopter below!





Good Luck! :)


a Rafflecopter giveaway

To find out more about Hatch Cards, head to their website here. They can also be found on Twitter and Facebook.

Competition terms and conditions can be found here

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