Bye Bye Baby

Last Friday I said goodbye to my little girl for the next two weeks. Some parents in need of  break will probably be wondering why I have any complaints about this. Don’t get me wrong if it was a week I wouldn’t, but two weeks is just such a long amount of time to not see her little face, hear that dirty giggle and join in with random and baffling conversations.

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There is truth in the fact that I probably do need a break from the responsibility of parenting to be able to fully rest and recoup but unfortunately when you are in this position it never feels like that and actually the apprehension and worry has been a stress in itself. Over the last week I have been adding to a general ‘life’ to do list all the jobs that need doing around the house, the DIY, the trips that need to to be made and basically any job I can turn to in order to stay busy (which defeats the whole object of the break).

Muddy Boots family photography

My nature isn’t to relax it’s to ‘do’ so given this opportunity to slow down it’s unlikely to actually happen. I want to do silly mundane things like read a whole book, get up to date on social media, walk the dogs more (not things I can’t do with Arabella home) but more just enjoyable things for me to do. Being the absolute fashion addict one big task that needs doing in the next two weeks is going through all my clothes, so that can be a draw/wardrobe a night easily for a week of evenings.

Muddy Boots family photography

My prediction is that I will be absolutely fine for the fist 4/5 days and then it is going to start getting really hard. Being divorced I am very used to spending time without Arabella but when I say time, we are talking 2/3 days, hence my prediction of the 4/5 day wobble.

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Funny isn’t it, we always want what we can’t have. As parents we crave time to ourselves (well me and the friends I have asked do) But as soon as shes gone all I will want to do is eat popcorn and watch movies with her. within a week of Arabella getting back she starts her new school so I think getting on top of life/the house and possibly even starting the attic renovation will be a good thing in the long run. (I just need to keep reminding myself as I walk past her empty bedroom.

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A Month of Amazon

Ok so i’m going to be completely honest here. About six months ago I somehow landed myself a months free subscription to Amazon prime. This was the bet and worst month of my life (dramatic I know) Having always been a keen ‘Ebayer’ I was a dab at online shopping, don’t get me wrong I haven’t got the patience to bid for things but the whole click buy wait, receive.

Well with Amazon Prime the gap between the click buy and receive is between 6 and 24 hours, which for someone with the patience of a newborn demanding a feed is a godsend. I have had one instance in goodness knows how many when it didn’t come in that time slot, so I rang them on their easy customer service number (no actually you request a call and they call you instantly) and I was given a refund another months free membership. Not too shabby.

I have had a fair few bad experiences ordering from Ebay with the predicted delivery and then 9 days later you realise they’ve lie, are blatantly based in china and it’s not going to be coming anytime soon. As a consumer this REALLY annoys me.

So enough rattling about how great it is, I thought it would be fun to go through what I bought in July (with explanation as somethings will leave you wondering) so here we go!

mason jar

Smith’s Mason Jars Rust Proof Lotion & Soap Dispenser 

£9.99

A pretty straight forward purchase. Arabella slammed her hand as hard as she could on the soap in a strop knocking it to the floor and shattering it in to a million pieces (we had the same one before!

 

 

 

folder

UBaymax A4 Document File Folder, 12 Pockets Folder A4 

£12.99

A dull work item, basically being based away from home 99% of the week means I need everything with me. So this means i can do that and it’s all separated. Really useful if you have a lot of life stuff to keep on top of!

 

 

 

camera

Underwater Camera for Snorkelling 24.0 MP Waterproof Digital Camera 

£78.99

At the start of July i dropped my vlogging camera and in a blind panic had to order something to replace it while the company repairing it worked out if they could fix it. Not the best camera in the world but now it’s been used and my Sony is back working it’s keeping Arabella happy as she can now do ‘her own’ videos!

 

 

table legs

OAKOME 4 X Hairpin Table Leg Double Steel Construction Welding Superior Legs (16.14 Inches, Black)

£23.99

You may well remember seeing a cable reel table I upcycled on Instagram/Facebook, well this is the legs I used (naturally I sprayed them copper) but here is the listing. Great value and they come in a variety of colours, just not copper.

 

 

downloadPHARMAQ Ivermectin Drops 1% 5ml – Mite Treatment

£18.99

Very dull but very necessary. we had an outbreak of redmite among the flock and having los

t a handful because of it this treatment was my last hope (and it did help) not sure it was worth the £18.99 i paid for it (5ml is a very very small bottle). But needless to say i had to try!

 

 

travel mug

Thermos ThermoCafé 2010 Travel Mug, 400 ml

£5.97

Cheap and very un-exiting but I needed a way to try and stop getting Starbucks drive through on the way to the office. I won’t lie i’m still going but less. With a Tassimo at home there shouldn’t be any excuse. But the mug (which I thought was great value) is getting used.

 

creosote

Bartoline Creocote Light Brown 4 Litre

£9.98

Bear with me this was a very ‘chicken’ orientationed month with the red mite. This creosote (which i’m sure is illegal) was to spray the coops with as it deters the mites, well ish.

 

 

 

pressure sprayer

5L Pump Action Pressure Sprayer – use with water, fertilizer or pesticides

£10.52

And this is what i used to spray the creosote. This is clearly a bad month to share what I bought because it’s all really dull.

 

 

notepad

Silvine Executive Soft Feel Notebook Ruled with Marker Ribbon 160pp 90gsm A4 Tan 

£6.00

ANothr work number, i get through about one of these A4 notepads per month so this will come up (in tan ofcourse) every month. Worst part about this is i keep all the finished ones too. Talk about being a hoarder.

 

 

Well though a totally random haul I guess it does show you what variety of things you can actually buy on Amazon. Let me know if you want me to keep this up for August too. I promise it will be less Chicken stuff!

Thanks for Reading

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Just a little trip to London

As much as I use my blog to share my views and all array of recipes and crafting ideas, I also use it as a place to save memories. If we do anything meaningful or exciting it normally makes it’s way in to a blog post and this does fit in with the whole ‘mummy’ and ‘lifestyle’ blogger theme.

So yesterday Arabella and I made the 280 mile round trip up to London to visit one of my oldest and dearest friends @justalittlebuild or SJ as I know her.

We spoke on the phone a few weeks ago and given our diary’s and the diary’s of our four children the 21st December was the only date we could do. We decided that our ‘fun Christmas Holiday activity’ would be to make a completely homemade ‘from scratch’ gingerbread house with the kids, and then just generally have a really good catch up. In the last year following the massive build on her house SJ has become quite the instagrammer and blogger so it was a great opportunity for us to come together share tips, advice and generally have a good catch up.

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So we set off at 8.15am (after waiting for the sun to rise enough to get the chickens out) and headed straight for starbucks. Purchased a latte, portion of fruit toast and a croissant (which never even got eaten) and joined the M5. Within 20 minutes the entire contents of the honey had been poured all over the passenger seat of my car which was interesting to clean up, but with a handy pack of wet wipes the situation was resolved (I honestly think all people should carry wet wipes not just mums with babies, they literally clean ANYTHING, not just bottoms)

After at least 45 repeats of ‘are we nearly there yet’ we were there, and we got cracking. Both very much doers in life there was no tea drinking until the recipe was started and the kids hands were suitably covered in dough.

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for anyone interested below is the recipe we used:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/mary_berrys_gingerbread_91126

In hindsight though we managed to pull this off it was hit or miss at a few stages. We should have left the gingerbread in for longer, it was just too soft and as soon as we added the smarties on the roof it started to bow under the pressure. We got round this by filling the whole house with giant marshmallows (which luckily no one would ever know as it’s windowless). The Mummies completely took over and the kids seemed happy enough just decorating the shapes we made with the left over dough so we basically did the whole gingerbread house without any help from the kids (which I think secretly we were both pretty happy about) the likelihood of the children creating something instagram worth is small.

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The one thing I want to mention as someone who does a lot of baking is the genius idea from that recipe of using egg whites with icing rather than water. It made the consistency so much stickier to hold everything together, in all my years of baking I have never heard of this but will be something I definitely continue to do. Pure genius!

The rest of the day was just catching up, everyone having their photo taken in the F&M basket, sharing ideas about each of our channels and drinking tea. Arabella managed to completely cover one of her bunchies in icing so she had to have a bath before we left (SJ’s bath is deep and huge) so this was very exciting and of course warranted a photo. We tided up the remains of the icing, chocolates and gingerbread dough and SJ fed the kids and then we just had time for one last little cuppa before we left and hit the motorway for the trek home.

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The drive home was the fun bit! Arabella if you watch any of my channels you will know is rather a dramatic character. Within 10 minutes of leaving she had convinced herself she was sick/ill/poorly. We ended up pulling over so I could try talk some sense in to her as it was clearly just being tired (given that five minutes previous she had said how hungry she was) I managed to resolve the situation (i’m not entirely sure how) and we got on our way. I used Christmas songs as a distraction which worked for about an hour (with one still to go) then she went in to complete meltdown about a rub she had on her foot adamant she needed to go to the doctors as soon as we got home (oh the joys of kids). We got home I transferred her from the car to bed and sat down with a cup of tea to start writing this. what a perfect day with perfect company.

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Enjoy and thanks for reading.

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Lazy Cakes

Ok so i’m that mum that never has anything for desert bar fruit (boring I know) I am reluctant to buy yogurts because they sit there no one eats them and they go bad, everything else potted comes with a 2 year sell by date and you’ve got to wonder what’s in them.

I am also not the kind of mum that has time to prance around a field in a long floaty gingham skirt and hand pick apples then spend a further three hours hand crafting an apple pie for dessert (I mean who actually has time to do this?)

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So (before I talk my way off the point completely) I was in my mums kitchen last night and spotted a magazine page that had been saved with this recipe on it, naturally I stole it (with every intention of replacing it, though i’m sure it’s been there for 3 years) and gave it a go, something I could cook (ish) for dessert without having to preplan or buy anything specific.

Flour, butter, sugar and eggs are pretty much standard cupboard items for me so it’s not likely I won’t be able to find them all with ease. This was the easiest recipe to make and so tasty (I actually made it this morning and had it for breakfast (probably shouldn’t have admitted that.) So lets get baking.

What you need:

  • 60g caster Sugar
  • 60g Self Raising Flour
  • 60g Butter
  • 1 medium egg
  • 10ml milk (basically a splash)
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence (not necessary if you don’t have a sweet tooth)

 

Put all the ingredients in to a bowl and mix for a couple of minutes or until smooth.

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This is what you want it to look like, and don’t worry because there should’t be too much.

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Split the mixture in to two microwave safe mugs.

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Put the mugs in to the microwave one at a time for 2 minutes each.

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Let them cool and then decorate them with whatever you like, we went for whipped cream and sprinkles but you could do melted chocolate, nuts basically whatever you like with cake.

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Enjoy and thanks for reading.

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