Friday, 23 November 2012

And..... Ta Dah!!!!!

So I guess you're wondering about the title eh?! Well let me elaborate on this...

... We all get bogged down with day-to-day life, a few years ago another mummy friend of mine (thanks Sarah MacKay) that instead of dwelling on the things you don't manage to get done, focus on the things you have accomplished!


It's not a 'To Do' list, it's a 'Ta Dah' list!!!


Still don't get it?! Let me show you:


Ta Dah List, Fri 23rd Nov


1. Cleaned up cat sick (7.15am)
2. Had a coffee
3. Made hubby a travel mug of Tea
4. Got girls dressed
5. Sent boy to school
6. Gave girls breakfast
7. Did girls hair
8. Made bed
9. Got dressed
10. Sorted clean washing out
11. Sorted dirty washing into colours
12. Put 1st load washing on
13. Took girls to school
14. Loaded dishwasher
15. Emptied oven
16. Put dishwasher on
17. Sprayed oven with cleaner
18. Got ingredients out for Flapjack
19. Got Hoover out
20. Writing blog! (9.40am)


So as you can see it's already been a very productive & busy day here at Sharp Residence, it's only 9.40am & the Ta Dah list is growing by the minute.


Now you may feel this is silly, but in fact it's a real motivational boost that doesn't take much effort. Writing a list takes a few minutes, but when it's a list of boring every day mundane household chores it puts a complete downer on the day - turn it around & make yourself feel positive about it, make a Ta Dah list instead!!!


It's astounding the actual amount of things we do as stay at home parents (it's not always us girls that do it, there's some house husbands too) but do we often get any credit for it?!? You bet your life no, it is often unnoticed but we carry on working like troopers to keep the home nice & working perfectly like clockwork!!!


So every once in a while, sit back & take a minute to reflect on your achievements in the day, it really does open your eyes to how much we do on an average day. We all deserve more appreciation for our accomplishments, rather than just taken for granted.


Now my blog is pretty much finished (it's 9.50am) so it's back to the chores... Time to hoover & then to scrub the oven clean!


Have a great day all & wear a proud smile for all you've achieved so far, you're all amazing parents - whether you do a day job for a living or look after the home (& children).

Friday, 9 November 2012

Stoptober & beyond!!!

So it's a whole month since I stopped smoking... Go me!

Although it's not as simple as that - I've actually tried to quit 3 times in the past year (I did manage 3 months & 3 days back around Apr-Jul time)!!!

That's after quitting back in Nov 2000 when I quit for almost 9 years, yes 9 years! I should've stayed quit then I know.

But, I stupidly restarted in Oct 2009 & I have pretty much regretted it ever since! I've not shown my children a good example at all really, apart from never smoking in the house.


But this is it I am determined now, the past month has not been that easy... there's been quite a few occasions where I could've buckled & given into temptation but NO I WILL NOT - I'm a non-smoker & proud!!!!!


I just thought I'd share this with y'all as I really am proud of the fact that I've not buckled & been weak, there have been times I've walked to town thinking I could just buy 10 - but my will power has been strong & I've carried on walking, I may have had an extra coffee or two in the process (my poor Costa card is not so flush these days) but it's been worth it!


I will continue on being a non-smoker & encouraging/supporting both my husband who's also smoke-free now, but also our friends who've quit as well! Some have done longer than us: well done Wifey, I am extremely proud of you!!! Others have just started their smoke-free journey, but I am sure they can do it if they put their minds to it & stay focused.


It's so much better for you, clothes smell fresher (so does your breath), your senses improve (better smell & taste), no more standing in the cold or wet when out socialising, the health benefits are great - the only downside is boredom & not getting into the trap of over eating to compensate!


Forever a non-smoker now & I will endeavour to teach my children right from wrong, in the hope that they never take up this bad, ugly habit EVER! I wish I'd never had & I really hope they never do!!!


Here's to not smoking, being a non-smoker & becoming smoke-free for life... Good Luck to all others trying to quit or quitting, it's not simple but it is worth it in the end.



Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Notes of Positivity

What a nice pleasantry I was greeted with as I went too post a letter this morning...

There stuck to the post box was a post-it note style heart with a little quote!

It brightened my day as I'd had a bit of bother before school with Miss Hermione & I was feeling a little deflated with the weather, not having smoked for 29 days either so I couldn't stress relief (don't get me wrong, I'm NOT going back to that EVER) - the note said: The most time wasted is the time spent thinking we are alone :)


     
'The most time wasted is the time spent thinking we are alone'

At that moment I thought to myself 'not a truer word said' I'm not the only parent that goes through battles with their children before school - but actually when you're at home having whatever issues/arguments/battles with your child/children it sometimes actually feels like you are!


I bumped into bestie Jason & pointed it out to him, saying I'd been inspired by it to blog: both on here & also on my photographic blog too!


We walked down Sheep Street I spotted another on the bench (opposite D2), then another on the town clock & bestie spotted another down Crown Walk on 'The Works' window!!!



     

    

     

As we parted ways bestie said to keep my eyes peeled for more post-it hearts... I spotted 3 others but the 2 I read weren't as inspiring as the 4 I'd already took photos of & the third I didn't manage to get close enough to even read it!


I am curious as to where these notes came from, as the handwriting is different on each note... Was it a project? Did someone think it was just a nice idea? I just don't know!!!


All I know was: it caught my attention & brightened my day, for which I am thankful... How many other people spotted these little cute quotes dotted around town today?!


A truly delightful little surprise on what turned out to be a dreary day, my find is STILL making me smile :0)


Monday, 8 October 2012

Unique Freak & Proud!

Yes... That's me!

Why do I say that? Well there's a few reasons but the top being my epilepsy - I've always had it my original Dr said I was just prone to black outs, but it took a change of surgery & then to 2000 after a referral to the Old Radcliffe when I was 26 to get first diagnosed, then just after I had Anneliese in 2007 there was much debate from my then neurologists if in fact I did have epilepsy & it took countless appointments, tests, scans to this September (21st, 2012) to have it 100% confirmed & permission to start taking medication to control the wretched condition!

Now as if that isn't bad enough..... I yet again am one of the 'rare' cases that has a severe allergic reaction to the medication they've tried to start me on - I had a severe allergic reaction back in 2006 (I was covered in hives from my thighs to my ankles) when they tried to put me on Fluoxetine (Anti-D meds) & had to come off them gradually (tablet every other day for a week I think it was).

Almost an identical reaction happened this time (I've had various side effects since starting on the lowest dose (2.5 weeks ago), I had only just got 1/2 way through the first week of 1 x 25mg Lamotrigine tablet twice a day) but this time I was starting my Anti-Epileptic meds, this major reaction came on out of the blue last night so straight to Dr's this morning & told in no uncertain terms Do Not take anymore! I was obviously worried about coming off to quick & risk of seizure, but Dr said this was better than being weaned off as reaction could be MUCH worse if I did that.

I dread to think what might've happened if I'd continued to take them?! So now I have to take allergy meds for the next 4-5 days or so till the reaction clears & I get to start another Anti-Epileptic med in 1-2 weeks time when this is safely out of my system.

It's hard to describe how intense the burning itch feels, I've hives from my belly button right to the soles of my feet & a few odd ones on my arms... It's hideous!!!

Check the pics if you don't believe me - the foot on the beige sofa was at 2:15 this afternoon, the others were taken just before I wrote this blog at 22:55, not much improvement from the allergy pill is there???
Still I'm uniquely me & like to be different!




Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Meet the Angels

Now if you're a friend of mine on Facebook you may well have already had the pleasure of meeting my angels either in the flesh or through my photos, if not you may well be wondering what on Earth I am talking about?!

Earlier in the year I came across a most talented lady Louise Clark, she is truly amazing in her work & I'm just working out what gifts I am ordering from her for Christmas. I digress, sorry...

As I said I came across Lou & her work on Facebook, I can't remember where I first saw her but I haven't looked back since finding this wonderful lady & artist!

My first piece of glasswork from Lou is a lovely little wall hanging of a cupcake, seeing as I bake a lot I thought it was an apt little thing to hang on my wall so I brought one.

Well, my love of Lou's work didn't stop there I ordered a beautiful hanging for Cameron's teacher with some tulips on (her fav flowers) & the wording Thanks Mrs Clark - she loved it! I also got a little Dino hanging for my friends sons Christening which also went down well (I don't have pictures of these pieces on my iPod, sorry).

But I spotted back in June I think it was that Lou made angels, they were so pretty then she shared a picture of Wonky a pretty little angel who's eyes were slanted & she was well a little wonky hence the name!

This inspired me as Lou had posted picture of Wonky in various scenarios & I thought what a good idea, I love my photos & a unique angel like Wonky would be ideal!

Lopsy was then born... She is gorgeous & my little lopsided baking angel, she has a cupcake on her dress!

Now Lopsy has been on many adventures, but she was lonely & Looby Blu her cousin soon came to stay -she is much slimmer & has a little mug on her dress, don't figure how she is so slim as she drinks gallons of hot chocolate from her mug!

Soon Lopsy's non-identical twin sister La La came to stay with us too, she has a little coffee bean on her dress as she loves latte as much as I do & is a little crazy cause of all the caffeine!

I've yet to take all 3 out on a day trip, but the day will come...

My glass collection is growing nicely & it's all thanks to Louise, you can find her website here: www.iridescentglassdesign.co.uk

She also has a gorgeous page on Facebook where you can follow Wonky's adventures too!

Almost over...

Yes it's true, the school summer holidays are almost over. The children finished on Friday, July 20th & already it is August 21st - just over a month & 4.5wks in!

6.5 wks is such a long time for the school holidays (especially if you have no holiday or short break away planned) now my children have been fortunate enough to have had 5 days at their grandparents in Hayes & my youngest Anneliese also had a weekend away with her best friend Trinity.

But the thing is after a couple of weeks off, they're put of routine, bored & driving each other crackers (in turn this drives me crackers) - I love my children & love spending time with them, but the summer holidays is my most feared holiday from school out of them all.

I never seem to 100% enjoy them, not only do I have the day-to-day chores of looking after the house but I also have to amuse the children all day every day for almost 2 months! That's a long time, the older they get the more demanding I find.

Now when they're tiny they're so easy to please, trips to the park, drawing, puzzles, pretend play, crafts, it's just fun... Not do easy now, the park is loosing appeal with the older two especially (Anneliese still quite enjoys it), playing outside doesn't appeal to Cameron much, also this year the weather hasn't helped.

Everything exciting is too far away or too damn expensive... I would hop on a bus to Oxford for a cinema trip but that would cost a small fortune for me & 3 children over 5! Mind you hopefully with the town development this will be not so expensive next year when we have our own cinema in town!

It's been an expensive summer without day trips out in all fairness though, with Cameron off to secondary school this September & the need for new lunch boxes, plimsoles, shoes, trainers for the girls, the cost of Cameron's kit for secondary school must've grossed £150 alone for uniform, bags, pe kit, shoes, stationary etc!

So what's in store for the next couple of weeks?! Nothing planned as such except on Saturday myself & Anneliese have eye tests (mine is not due till Nov, but been having issues with my eyes) fortunately both Cameron & Hermione had theirs earlier in the year & both have fine vision without the need for glasses (yet) - I fear I may need new glasses & possibly to have to wear full time "/

Well, I will try to blog about something more exciting before the school holidays are through... Not sure what it'll be about though!

Thursday, 2 August 2012

CBA...

Quite literally, I don't have enough time or hours in the day to keep checking FB...

So if you want me text me, those that matter have my number & if you want my number you don't have to be Sherlock Holmes to find it out!

If for any weird reason you cannot text me, send me an email (again no super sleuth skills needed to obtain this) I have far too much to do & just don't have the time to keep checking if I have PM's or comments on my page.

If it's cake related email me at: sophisticakez@live.co.uk please, otherwise with all my usual emails & spam it will get lost if you send to my normal email account!!! Lol.

You will probably notice blogs, instagrams or activity on my cakey page around FB, but that's about it as I just don't have the time right now - don't miss me too much?! Ok???

Monday, 11 June 2012

Toilet Troubles...

Is there an easier way???


Now I thought of writing this blog while cleaning the bog... Excuse my feeble witty attempt!


Now my eldest Cameron (almost 11) struggled as an older baby/toddler with constipation, he was given various advice ie/ eat more fruit/veg, drink more water, drink prune or apple juice etc, etc & then the Dr prescribed Lactulose followed by Fybogel, he wasn't on meds for long & although he still doesn't go daily (he goes most days, occasional has 1 or 2 days without going) he has never struggled with pain or sitting for hours without movement since his short course of meds.


My middle child Hermione (almost 9) has NEVER suffered in this area, although her diet is exactly the same as the rest of the family - well apart from Cammy his diet is the same with the exception that he consumes a vast amount of sugar in his diet (but that is another blog entirely).


Now the main reason of this blog is my youngest Anneliese (5) as a baby & up until just after she was 5, so up until April this year, she had NO problems at all... None, but in April the fun started!


Pretty much every night at either tea time or bed time she would say the needed the toilet, sit on it then start screaming & crying in pain, shouting "it hurts"


So we went back to apple juice instead of squash, a week later no better so on to the trusty prune juice, this helped a little but not that much... We persevered for approx 2 weeks with the prune juice, much to Anneliese's disgust (she didn't like the taste much) but we would get 1 or 2 normal days & then the rest were still badly constipated.


So on May 4th a trip to the Dr's was in order (it's so sad to hear your baby crying in pain & there's nothing you can do to help them) - now since Cameron was a youngster things have changed & now they prescribe different meds...


First she is given Movicol paediatric plain oral solution - she has to have 1 sachet daily mixed in 62.5ml water (we use squash too, to make it slightly more palatable)...

It's only 1/4 of a cup but oh my word, this caused so much chaos in the first few weeks! You would've thought I was trying to poison her (in fairness she had a point it is vile, imagine drinking a 1/4 cup of water/squash/tea/coffee (whatever drink you fancy) but with 2 teaspoons of salt in it & you may be close to what it is actually like) - it would take an absolute age to get her to drink it & somedays a damn right battle too, refusals, tantrums you name it!!!  I mentioned all this in a blog on May 22nd, when she'd only been on it 2.5 wks - you can find that blog here: I surrender!!!!!

Anneliese has actually got used to this now thankfully, but for the past 2 weeks she has had to take the addition of 2.5ml of Senokot syrup every night too (which strangely she likes) & takes no problem at all... We actually don't have too many issues with the Movicol now (good job as I've just put in for this months supply)!


Now on the meds she is fine, doesn't have a problem & it doesn't hurt one little bit... but should she (or should I say I) forget her meds for a day (sometimes 2 if we've been really busy) the problems & occasionally the pain start again - Only on Friday did she suffer & produced what could only be described as a torpedo (Hermione had great delight in saying it was so BIG it had blocked the toilet!) poor little Anneliese though.


Now, how can you convince children to drink more fluids, eat more fruit & veg etc if they really don't want to?!  I am sure I am in no way alone here, but all of my children since reaching school age have dropped the amount of fluids they consume immensely - they all used to drink gallons of water, very dilute squash & diluted fruit juice but now they pretty much drink a cup with breakfast, a carton at lunch & a cup at dinner - That's it!!!


I don't like to rely on meds, but what else can I do?!



Friday, 8 June 2012

Meltdowns... What they mean to me

Just one word - STRESS!


That's what causes them & that's then what they cause.


Currently (Mon 08/06) Anneliese is having a meltdown (she's 5) which has lasted approx 10mins so far, crying, screaming, shouting, kicking, hitting out... Need I go on?!


Continued Fri 15th June:
                   Now she had a fair few of these episodes but she didn't really have many 'toddler tantrums' so I guess she's just a little behind (well I am hoping really) lol!



Our middle child Hermione doesn't do meltdowns but as she is a budding actress she tends to be a complete drama queen if something sets her off, this in itself too causes problems...


Take last night (14/06) for example: the scenario... Hermione went to the freezer (in the garage) to get choc ices after dinner, she needed to get 2 dark & 2 milk.


Well, she came bck in the house & Cameron ended up with milk instead of dark, she'd only got 1 dark she got upset cause Cameron was shouting how he wanted dark & through the tears, crying, mushed up choc ice we deciphered that on picking a box up all the choc ices had fell out of 1...


Not learning from this, the sake thing happened with the other box so both milk & dark choc ices were muddled in the freezer drawer - so she had no idea which was milk & which was dark!


But drama queen, this was a very dramatic display & she ended up dribbling choc ice & had snail trails from her nose, the choc ice was melting in her hand & well, to us it was comical, which in turn added fuel to the fire causing more hilarity to us (but of course not Hermione).


I had to compose myself & diffuse the situation, to calm her down. But it was funny!


Cameron on the other hand has plenty of meltdowns (due to his ASD) & well they are painful to me in many ways...


Not physically (although have been & potentially still could be) but mentally, emotionally & they're also very draining on me too.


His meltdowns can last anything from 10 minutes (if we're lucky) to an hour or occasionally just over! As he's bigger & stronger than Anneliese these meltdowns are noisey!


His voice is very aggressive, he slams doors, he kicks the wall in his room, shouts, screams, crys, bangs things, throws things - it's all fun!!!


We try to avoid these episodes but sometimes they're unavoidable & the silliest little thing will set him off which then upsets the whole balance of the house, sparks fly & tempers raise all over, as inevitably a meltdown causes delays whether we're about to eat, go to bed, go out etc, etc - they cause more problems,, thus putting me in turmoil inside!


My brain is on overload as I get upset, cross & angry a lot of the time cause its causing hold ups, I then try to understand why the meltdown has happened, I feel upset as I don't always fully understand why things have upset Cameron so much & as I already said this is very draining, cause I feel helpless a lot of the time.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Photographic Blogging

Yes, I'm going to venture into this too - it seems like the next step for me to take, due to the fact I love to blog & I love to take pictures with my cameras!


I say cameras as I own more than just 1... 1st there's my semi-pro Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ28 it's a few yrs old, but I love it even though it's only 10mp (it does have an 18x optical zoom). Then there's my pocket Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS42, now this is showing it's age, again it's a 10mp but only has a 4x optical zoom (pictures are ok, but sometimes not so sharp) & finally I have the camera on my phone, the HTC Sensation XL it's only 8mp, but takes wonderful pictures!


Now why a photographic blog?! Well I've actually been inspired by another blogger here, the wonderful Sallyann Rigby (you can find her blog here: Photographic Memories/ ) - now how did I get tempted into this blog of photography that I'm about to embark on???


Well, Sallyann stopped me in the street on 04/06 after the towns Jubilee procession (separate blog coming up about the Jubilee) & asked if she could take my photo for her blog! Being a fellow blogger & also a photo freak (what I like to call myself as I take so many shots of things) I said sure, just give me a link to your blog as I love a good blog!


Well, I've been following her blog on WordPress & I had to sign up to comment on the blog featuring me & I was inspired...


I thought oooh a photographic blog would be good, it doesn't have to be a lengthy blog like a lot of these blogs tend to be... I can just take a picture, publish it on my photographic blog & write a few words about my shot, what it symbolises to me, why I took it etc.


I'd still not 100% thought of a name for this blog when I started writing this entry for this blog & it's being hosted on WordPress rather than Blogger, so it's all new to me - but I'm rather excited by the new blog venture & hope you'll like it too?!


Here's a link to it & my very first blog entry is on it now 16/06: Photographic Opportunities

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Master of Surprises!

Yes, that would be me... I'm so sneaky, but only in a good way!


You see I love to make those I'm closest to happy, especially for birthdays... Too many people forget or hide birthdays when they're grown up, I don't see why myself?!


I mean it's worth celebrating because you've survived another year, this day & age we all have far too many stresses & strains which take their toll on us - but we're still here, alive, breathing, with so much to live for & that should be celebrated every year!


I've been decidedly sneaky yet again this year, I wowed bestie on his birthday in Feb with an outstanding 'ham' cake, it's hubby Duncan's birthday on the 7th he has a surprise cake in store for karaoke (created & supplied by the lovely Anne)...





He said he didn't want anyone to know it was his birthday so removed it from view on FB but also changed the date too!


I have obviously made a birthday cake for us at home & posted a picture, but also wrote a status & tagged him, I also wrote on his FB wall! Ooops did I let the cat out the bag?! Lol!!!


                                                                                                                           


I've also arranged another surprise for Sunday, our good friend Nigel is coming down to come to karaoke... So I've booked a babysitter & Dunk is none the wiser - ain't I evil?! Not really, I think these are nice surprises & it really shows just how much I care about those I'm closest to!


I started this blog on Weds 06/06, it is now Mon 11/06 & how did the surprises go down?! I bet you're wondering???


Well, the surprise cake Thursday night was a real hit & much appreciated too (so was my cake that we had at home on Friday) he was treated to a fair few drinks on Thursday night too, but after a few pints of Strongbow, a Gin n Tonic (don't think this got drunk), a fair few shots of various flavours & topped off with a shot of Southern Comfort n Tabasco (forgot what it was called) - Dunk made a sneaky exit from the pub & went home early, lol!


Yesterday was absolutely classic though, timed to perfection... Dunk was cooking the Sunday roast, I was relaxing in the bath, the children were playing nicely & everyone apart from me was unaware of a surprise guest arriving!


Dunk started dishing up, the children laid the table (for 5 as normal), I got out the bath & was drying in bathroom, then the doorbell went... I could hear Duncan say from the kitchen (it's right next to bathroom) "who's at the door at this time? We're just about to eat!"


The next thing I hear is the door opening & a majorly surprised voice on Dunk says "bloody hell, how the devil are you, long time no see, come in!"


Hahaha, got him good & proper, he even commented it was like a 'This is your Life' moment!!!


Nigel & Duncan at bestie Jason's karaoke!



I've surprised him on 2 milestone birthdays in the past, I did a surprise 30th for him in '99 & on his 40th I arranged all his family & friends to surprise him at his then regular Friday karaoke gig that was in '09 - you'd think he'd learn by now eh?!


Last year I aided & abetted my good friend Andy organise his girlfriend (my Wifey) Becky's 30th surprise party too, so if you need any help with springing a surprise on your loved ones I'm a bit of an expert & good at party planning, just ask I'll only be too pleased to help!!!



Sunday, 3 June 2012

Why?! Sigh "/

This blog is in reference to the exact same named FB status I put up on Saturday 02/06 at approx 22:30...


It is now 03:50 on Sun 03/06


You may also recall that at approx 18:25 I put another status up on FB that said: is annoyed.com "/


I figured seeing as the two statuses are kind of related in one way or another I may as well combine the blog into one!


This will no doubt provide some entertaining reading for some, but at the times I was, let's just say - a little miffed, to say the least!


First problem at 18:25... I am subscribed to 'My Cake Decorating' magazine, mainly to get more equipment to use & of course it's also a good magazine for hints n tips on projects I've not yet tried out!


Now, being the Queens Diamond Jubilee we've decided to have our own family afternoon tea party tomorrow (today, Sunday) to celebrate this occasion.
The aforementioned magazine subscription produced a special edition for this occasion too, it came with some stencils, edible sugar diamonds, cupcake wrappers & cupcake flags.


We had purchased some nice food at M&S (& a few bits from Tesco too) earlier this morning (Saturday) but I had decided seeing as I has these cupcake/cookie accessories to hand I should make some jubilee cookies & cupcakes for our little celebration!


Shock, horror on checking the contents closer... The edible diamonds were discoloured (an iridescent pale yellow tinge to them instead of a clear clarity), but worse still the lovely jubilee cupcake flags had a big fault - 7 of the 12 had the flag stuck on upside down!!!






Not a happy bunny & very annoyed, this wouldn't have been so bad if it had been 6 faulty (I could live with that) but 7?! OCD issues with my cupcakes now!!! Hence the status: is annoyed.com "/




Well, I figure I can't do much about it but put up with it... Dunk leaves for work just after 19:15 so I start sorting the kiddies out for bed, ready to bake! I then prep my ingredients for the cookies.


It's 20:10 & I'm beating the butter n sugar together when my phone bleeps... A txt from Dunk saying 'Fireworks at Garth about 10pm' - to which I respond 'Joy... Dog will go mental!!!'


20:15 Dunk txt's back 'take him & kids, walk up Launton Rd - he will love it x' - so I reply 'at 10?!' followed by 'girls have their PJ's on!!! Lol' (Cameron had been messing me around & not hot his on).


Anyway, 20:25 after all the txt's I continue with the cookie mix (add the vanilla & the egg) being assisted by Anneliese... at this point Cameron slopes off upstairs, I wasn't sure if he was going to play or put his PJ's on.


So I'm chatting with Anneliese & disaster strikes... You see I was wearing latex surgical gloves (to preserve my union jack nails) when I don't know how my glove on my left hand got caught in the hand mixer!!! It was getting tighter & tighter, fortunately I managed to turn it off & free my hand.


                                                                               


So after that little mishap, I carry on & mention to Anneliese about the Fireworks - she's excited & wants to get dressed, it's 20:35 now!


I get her to speak to the other 2 about it & they were in 2 minds cause they figured we've got our PJ's on now, but they decided yes they might like to go after 20 minutes!!! I'm back to the cookie mix, sifting the flour!


I finished mixing the cookie dough & am kneading it, get it wrapped in cling film & placed in the fridge to rest. It's 21:15, so I ask the children to get dressed if they want to go while I prep the ingredients for the cupcakes.


It's 21:40, children all dressed, I'm getting rain coats n boots out (as was raining, obviously) & Cameron brings Christopher down... Now Christopher is the class bear (he's pretty much as big as Anneliese) he has him for the half-term & has been told to take him everywhere!


I say, it's absolutely chucking it down... You can't take him! But he insists & back upstairs he goes to get Christopher a coat!!! At this point I hear the fireworks start & txt Dunk in a state!


Sorry, I had to pause here... It was late & I just haven't had time since to continue - it is coming though! It's now 06/06, Lol.


Cameron then had a complete meltdown, making me more stressed... The dog is going mental, not only cause the fireworks but cause Anneliese had got his lead ready!


It was what I'd call a major - Arghhhhhhhhhhh moment!!!


Another break here, it's now 08:55 10/06 - hope it's worth the wait for you readers?!


Anyhow to cut a long story short (actually this is quite a long blog on reflection) - we got out the house at 21:55, pretty much at the end of the display (I think I heard fireworks 3 go off while outside).


I'd decided the dog at least needed walking after the trauma of fireworks & the excitement of his lead rattling, it would've been cruel not to take him!


It was absolutely p'ing it down, Dunk was still texting, I was stressed, soaked & at the end of my tether, so we just walked the dog around the block (up Linden, down Withington, then home).


When home we're all soaked through, the kids are moaning, I still have the cookies to bake & cuppies to make (& bake) as well as get the kiddies changed & into bed!


It was 22:28 when we'd all got inside & I sent Dunk this txt 'U told me 10 at 8pm... Yes & dog went crazy, Cam was pissing bout with bear & Pooks was being an ass lookin after Colin who just came in from rain! The only good 1 has been Anneliese xXx'


Finally got back in kitchen at 22:42 to finish off my baked delights, which ended up being finished by 03:03 - although wasn't completely finished as had more icing detail to put on cookies once base coat was dry & cuppies needed frosting when cool (they could wait till morning)!


                                   


Yes, it may all sound trivial... But if you'd been in my shoes, you'd understand where I was coming from with my status!

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

What's the Bzz?!

Yes, what is the Bzz???  I am a BzzAgent & have been since 9th May 2007, I bet you're wondering what a BzzAgent is?!  Let me tell you...


Basically it is a consumer testing panel & anyone can become a BzzAgent you just have to sign up, you can do it by visiting: BzzAgent


You get invited to join campaigns where you can get FREE products to try (or products at a reduced price, they're not always FREE) & you review them then spread the word - what they call the Bzz!


I am currently on the Naturally Powered campaign, Naturally Powered is a new range of environmentally-conscious cleaning products that have been developed with the help of environmental experts, tested in the laboratory, & approved in the home. Naturally Powered's outstanding performance makes it hard to believe that it is an eco range, but thanks to its combination technology, plant-derived cleaning ingredients & recycled packaging, it's as good, if not better, than other leading brands.


I was sent the anti-bacterial spray, that I must say is as good as the Dettol spray I normally buy, I was also sent a couple of samples of washing up liquid in my BzzKit but I wasn't as impressed with this compared to my normal brand Fairy - it didn't lather up as much & I didn't think it's performance worked as well as Fairy (that's just my honest opinion of the product though)


I have a couple of friends that are also BzzAgents (I only recently found out they were, so we quite often chat about campaigns & products) - Caroline had the Naturally Powered washing powder to trial, from all accounts this too is quite a good product! Lisa got the toilet gel & from her review she loved the gel as stayed where it was squirted, cleaned well but the fragrance was overpowering - so it looks like Naturally Powered seems to be a a good brand!


Other Bzz campaigns I have been on since becoming an agent include: Philips Pressurised Steam Generator, Remington Wet2Straight(TM) Slim, Philips goLITE BLU, Philips Wake-up Light, Colgate(R) Sensitive Pro-Relief(TM)Activia(R)NutriCat (to name just a few of the campaigns I have been doing over the years)

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

I absolutely 'LOVE' Instagram!

Yes I cannot lie... I am totally in love with Instagram, I just wish it had a few more features but I really, really love it!


Whoever came up with this app is a pure genius, so simple yet so effective - I only wish I had more followers, but maybe blogging about it may help me out here?!


I pretty much Instagram everything & anything, I'm always snapping away on my phone with Instagram, sometimes I use Instagram on my iPod touch too! It's fabulous, it really is.


What is it (for those of you that may not have experienced it yet) it is a photographic app, that let's you social network through your photos!


You can add your friends through Twitter Facebook or search for users - I like the fact that I'm following Anthony Cotton, Dynamo, Jamie Oliver & Leona Lewis (to name a few) thanks to my Twitter account.


Anthony Cotton actually puts some amazing photos up! He is one of my favourites, I've a lot of fellow bakers on mine & some of the pictures are so inspiring to me.


Basically how it works, you take a picture either as standard & then transfer it to the app or you can use the app's camera feature that's built into it... Then the fun begins!!!


You can leave the photo as is or you can enhance it with various filters & a few simple effects. It is marvellous & I've created no less than 239 pictures (to date) since April 17th when I first installed the app!


I'll give you a few of my favourite shots to enjoy & if you want to follow me my ID is: princess_lyndypops





 




                            


                            

Will you look at that?!

Yes bestie, I'm catching you up with the blogging again... 4 blogs in 4 days so far, actually if you count this that makes 5 blogs!


Sorry Jason, it had to be done - I do hope you're keeping up?!


There's no stopping me at the moment, albeit I'm painfully blogging from my phone... I know bestie you're not too keen on this method.


Now this isn't really that painful for me, I like the versatility that I can pretty much blog whenever & wherever (so long as time allows) but what I don't like about the mobile apps is:

             a) no bells or whistles - ie/
                  can't change font, colour,
                  size, style
             b) can't position photos
                  where you want them
             c) predictive txt has a lot to
                 answer for



I do as best I can, but it niggles me some as I like my blogs to look just so & I have to wait until I can log in from my laptop to edit them - this can be a whole week or more since I've blogged sometimes & if like this week I'm on a roll, then I can have a fair backlog of blogs to sort!


Still, the way I see it at present is it is saving my brain from the influx of blog backlog as there's a few that have been reserved in the brain storage bank for a fair while! I'm hopefully going to rectify that this week though...


I'm on a blogging mission now & I aim to succeed, failure is not an option - I managed to keep up with my mission of not smoking, I quit on Thursday 12th April... It'll be 6 whole weeks tomorrow & I am so proud of myself even if nobody else is!


I just have to get in my mindset to set a fitness mission & start doing more exercise again... I've been really slack & also, I have not been eating the healthiest as I've just not been in the mood for it!!!  It will happen, just not sure when.

The curse of the fluffy chocolate rug!

I thought this blog needed a very catchy title as it's not at all going to be a glamorous blog! 
The Beautiful Fireplace!





We have a gorgeous open fireplace in our lounge, which we keep a rug in front of:
                   a) because it looks nice
                   b) saves the carpet from
                       rogue sparks
                   c) why not?! Lol



Well, this rug that we keep in front of the fire inevitably needs replacing every year-18 months due to everyday wear n tear!


Now I believe the current rug we have in situ is our 4th or 5th (but please don't quote me on that, you know what my brain is like) - I buy all my rugs from Next (generally in the Winter sale at a good price) & we changed to this rug when we decorated in December so it's only 5 months old!


But this rug has a terrible curse on it I am sure, since it has been down it has most definitely been put through it's paces without a doubt.


The dog, Merlin has p'd on it, the kitten, Colin has p'd on it, the old geriatric cat, Pebbles has p'd on it... It has been scrubbed & scrubbed with the floor brush, vanish carpet mousse & then it has been saturated in pet stain n odour remover spray too!


Today the curse struck again... At around 08:30 just before I was going to get Anneliese some breakfast all of a sudden she said she was going to be sick. I asked her to go to the bathroom, fortunately ours is downstairs, so it is only through the lounge... Alas, the poor little mite got up from the sofa & as she stepped on the rug - VOMIT!!!!!


She practically managed to cover the whole damn rug too & her school uniform, with a few splashes only reaching the surrounding carpet - so out came the floor brush, vanish mousse, bowl of soapy water & I'm scrubbing the rug yet again!


Now I like this rug, it is a dark chocolate brown & has a very fluffy boarder to the main rug, but as I say it is cursed... Every time you scrub it, the floor brush is covered in rug pile & needs detangling afterwards!


I'm not sure this rug is going to last it's full term out in front of the fire if this run of 'luck' continues... A massive rogue spark will no doubt fly out of the fire & set it alight!!!!! Lol




The 'cursed' Rug!

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

I surrender!!!!!


I surrender!!!!!


Yes, I'm waving the white flag... I can't go on, I give up, I'm failing, the road has come to a dead end!




I really have no idea anymore, but my children are driving me insane - mornings especially so, you see we live 2 minutes from school but inevitably we're late almost every day!!!


It's not through lack of time or trying though, it's through non-compliance of my children & they just will not co-operate with each other at all (or me for that matter)...


I've done 3 different parenting courses over the years (since Cameron was 4), tried various different strategies, given choices, spoken calmly, etc, etc but I am just getting nowhere at the moment "/


I'm not complaining about my children, I love them very, very much but I'm becoming more & more concerned of how we're going to cope in September when Cameron goes off to secondary school - Scary, eh?!


Scenario this morning (Tues 22/05/12): Duncan wakes me at 06:40, Anneliese is up & the house is calm (bliss). Hermione gets up at 06:55, the house is still relatively calm (just a bit more noise, but no agro yet) & Dunk wakes Cameron at 07:05 (times approx, sorry I don't really clock watch & remember precisely what happened when) - now Cam does not like getting out of bed, he needs much encouragement & prompting.


Duncan leaves for work approx 07:10 (ish) & on his way out the door wishes me luck with Cam (he's still laying in bed). So, I finish packing the lunch boxes, filling the water bottles, put the kettle on & then proceed to encourage Cam up & out of bed to get ready for school.


I was planning on sending the girls to breakfast club at 8am, but that plan soon went out the window.


At 07:30 I make Anneliese's medicine, she's currently on Movicol paediatric plain oral solution - she has to have 1 sachet daily mixed in 62.5ml water (we use squash too, to make it slightly more palatable)...


It's only 1/4 of a cup but oh my word, this causes so much chaos! You would think I'm trying to poison her (in fairness she has a point it is vile, imagine drinking a 1/4 cup of water/squash/tea/coffee (whatever drink you fancy) but with 2 teaspoons of salt in it & you may be close to what it is actually like) - it takes an absolute age to get her to drink it & somedays a damn right battle too, refusals, tantrums you name it!!!


07:45 I tell Anneliese she need to finish her medicine quickly, then we can brush her hair & she can go to breakfast club at 8am, so I then say that I'm just going to get dressed & to speed Cameron up (he'd got out of bed by this point but that was it, sat in his room doing nothing) so he could walk Hermione & her to the school.


I head upstairs, not only to find Hermione (who I'd sent up to get some socks, she was wearing trousers) was getting changed into a pinafore - but Cameron had only managed to take off his PJ's, put his socks on & was in the throws of very slowly putting his shirt on! Give me strength :(


I remind Hermione she still needs her hair brushed & to do her teeth, if the clock passes 8am there'll be no breakfast club. So I'm dressed in 5 minutes, I go back down to brush Anneliese's hair (who still painfully has 2 mouthfuls of Movicol left) - I'm getting a tad annoyed now.


8am comes & goes, so no breakfast club today (same as yesterday) -  I come down to make breakfast, Cameron finally finishes dressing & is singing Michael Jackson songs - now ordinarily in a calm mood, this would be enjoyable & funny (Cameron is quite comical & changes his voice, which can be hysterical) but I'm stressed & annoyed, so this is just winding me up as he is not helping in any way!


Breakfast was slow, but eventually got finished, so then I go to brush the girls hair, I brushed & plaited both girls hair.


Anneliese's cardigan needed buttoning up & then I notice this HUGE black stain on the shoulder that wasn't there when she'd got dressed! So she had to change both her cardigan & shirt - Now it's approx 08:40, I plan to leave at 08:45 (children have to be at school 08:55)... Arghhhhhhhhhhh


& it never washed out either :'(



I ask the children to get shoes on, brush teeth, go to the toilet so we can leave on time. I go to clear up the table & breakfast things, as the children couldn't be bothered.


Not 1 of the children has cleaned their teeth, none have their shoes on & only Anneliese was on the toilet! Cameron had gone back to his room & was looking for sunglasses as Hermione had got hers! I am shouting at this point as I don't want to be late & sunglasses are not important... It was 08:50 & we really should have left the house by now!


Anneliese gets off the toilet, washes her hands & brushes her teeth, but then has a tantrum cause she wants sunglasses. Cameron came down with a cap & cinema 3D glasses cause he couldn't find his shades!!!


Hermione is walking round with her head in the clouds, still with no shoes... Not funny, I get sunglasses for Anneliese, Hermione goes to bathroom, Cameron is just being Cameron & twittering on about random stuff not at all relevant!


So I'm really annoyed, grab Anneliese's things walk out the door telling Cameron to get a move on, Hermione followed me & Anneliese out, but he was still faffing around with something. Eventually we sign in to school at 09:02 - still it was an improvement on yesterday's 09:10!!!



Monday, 21 May 2012

Tic, Tic, Tic.....

What's that noise?  Yes it's the second hand rushing round the clock, going faster & faster & faster... well, that's how it feels to me!


Hard to believe that I was up at 7am & already the day has passed & it's now 6pm - where do the days go?! I just don't know, the time flies by so very fast the older I get it seems.


As I type the time is just flying past & dinner is on route, we're having a Chinese this evening as we're taking a night-off from cooking & sort of treating the older two children as they both have 'BIG' parts coming up in their forthcoming performances at school.


This blog will have to be finished later as the table needs setting, the plates getting out, the drinks made, the dog fed & cutlery laid... Back Soon (18:06)


Well it's now... 21:58 - See what I mean?! almost 4 hours has passed & what has been done?  Well dinner was served & eaten, the children got ready for bed & then got put to bed, we watched a little TV together, we've had a cuppa, I've changed my FB password yet again (had to reset on Weds & twice today, doing my head in now) & I have checked my emails.  You wouldn't think that would take 4 hours would you???


Now I suppose I should elaborate on these parts & performances; Hermione (middle child, aged 8) is a budding little actress & landed herself the part of 'Ratty' in 'Wind in the Willows' which is being performed next week, she has had to learn 28 lines & a load of songs (including two solos)... Very proud parents already (her small part in Robin Hood last year was outstanding), I just hope the school records the performance so we can treasure this forever.


Cameron (my eldest, almost 11) comes home today (bear in mind he only has till July 20th at primary school) & has landed the 3rd biggest part in his performance... He is to play 'Slack' in 'Pirates of the Curry Bean' - He will have 83 lines to learn & lots of songs (fortunately no solos though), his performance will be the 2nd week of July I believe so he doesn't have long to learn his lines at all!


Unfortunately poor Anneliese misses out on her performance as we will be off on holidays, not that she is much of a performer (she is the shy one) - but we'll have a nice family holiday, so I am sure she won't mind too much.


Time really does annoy me as it goes so very fast & I am sure that is why I never have enough time to do half the things I would like to do, things always take longer than expected too - it's a very vicious circle & I just wish children would make the most of it (time is never ending when you are young) they always seem to be 'BORED' when in fact they should be enjoying all the 'free' time they have on their hands... it soon goes when you grow up!