Sunday, 30 September 2012


This morning we had great fun baking cookies and cheese straws.

I love baking and cooking. Before kids, I spent loads more time in the kitchen, coming up with new recipes and cooking old favourites. It is one of my hobbies, (alongside reading) that relaxs me and destresses me.
We have hosted many a dinner party, which sounds far grander than it was! (It usually involved spag bol, eaten sat around in the living room with copious amounts of red wine and lovely friends.) But I did enjoy experimenting with new foods and would occasionally surprise my guests with something new and use them as guinea pigs!

Since Megan was born though, I understandably haven't spent as much time as I would like cooking or being creative in the kitchen.

However I do make sure that I take the time to cook and bake with Megan and more recently Ben too.  From an early age we have made cakes and biscuits, just for fun or special occasions, like birthdays.
Both of them love it, the making, the mess and just that special time of baking together.  Megan is even getting very good at the washing up too!

I think its important to teach them about making their own meals and cakes etc.  I was taught how to cook and bake by my mum and those skills have been developed in my own kitchen.  And now it is my turn to pass those skills to my children.  Not only is it cheaper to cook your own food, it can also be healthier. Don't get me wrong, I'm not stood in the kitchen every day cooking from scratch, no chance!  Chicken nuggets, fish fingers and chips play a part in our meal times, just not every day, maybe just once or twice a week. And I don't cook casseroles or fiddly time consuming meals every day either. We might have pasta and sauce one night, (cheap and cheerful and EVERYONE likes it!), rice and something another night, sausage and mash, homemade pizzas, homemade quiche, pastie pie, chilli, casseroles and stews. A great mix of ready to eat food and homemade concoctions.

So today we made cookies, 3 different types, chocolate, smarties and sprinkles. And cheese straws!  It was great fun, lovely and messy, especially the 'rubbing in' part. 

Here are a few pictures from our baking morning.

The Gallery - 8pm

Sunday evening, 8pm and all is silent after a lovely hectic weekend spent shopping, visiting family, late nights watching x factor, baking, more shopping and roast dinner! Phew, I'm worn out just writing it, but it was great fun!

Monday, 24 September 2012


Megan had a sleepover at nanas on Saturday which she really enjoyed. They had nibbles and homemade beef stew with dumplings which Megan likes.  She got to stay up late and watch x factor and a big treat, she slept in nanas bed.

I think its lovely that she had such a great time as it wasn't that long ago she didn't want to stay anywhere away from me.  It is another sign she is growing up and gaining more confidence in herself as it is something she lacks, which does worry me.  It is also lovely for Megan to have some one on one time with my mum and to see that bond growing.

On the Sunday morning Megan had a 'makeover' and nana curled her hair and put on a little bit of make up. When she came home she looked very grown up and absolutely gorgeous.

Saturday, 22 September 2012


Benerisms are what I call Bens unique little phrases or things he does.  I am blogging them so I won't forget them as they are too gorgeous to not remember!

I was at work yesterday and Ben was at my sisters. He had been so good on the potty so my sister said he could have a treat. Ben replied, "can I have a narna (banana) cos I been a big boy doing wee wees in my potty?"
What other child would want fruit as a treat?!

Potty Training

We have done it! Ben is wearing big boy pants! Yay! He has cracked it! I am so very pleased with him. It took us a while and a number of attempts (4 I think) to get there, but its done.  Friends know this has taken a while. At first Ben just didn't get it and he really wasn't bothered that he was weeing left right and centre. And that is to say nothing of the numbers twos! I will just say as Ben eats vast amounts of fruit and veg every day, each accident involved a full shower hose down, which wasn't great if we were out somewhere.  Praising didn't work, neither did bribery!  He just couldn't care less. Typical Ben.   We just popped a nappy back on and waited another couple of weeks.

It was different when Megan was potty trained, she was ready at 2 and a half and was dry within a couple of days. Number twos took longer and she asked for a nappy on when she needed to go, but that only lasted a couple of months.

This is just another example of how my two are very different or is it a difference between boys and girls?

Whatever it is, I am so very proud of my big boy.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Autumn Ramblings

This weekend we have been embracing the last bit of summer and welcoming in the Autumn.

We have spent most of the weekend at John Leigh park.  This isn't our local park, as it is a 15 minute drive away but it is one we have visited before and I think it will become popular as there is a wide range of play things.

Megan and Ben had a fantastic time hunting for conkers and finding them in their cases.

They played in the big park and we went to the small park where they were enthralled with the aviary and all the different birds.

A lovely chilled out weekend.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

The Gallery - Beauty

Mother Natures Beautiful World

This title is a quite hard to do!  I was going to post a picture of my children as they are so very beautiful.

However I did take this picture in the sealife aquarium at Alton towers and it struck me as being a truly beautiful example of the world in which we live, and how truly magnificent nature really is.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Alton Towers

Sunday saw us going to Alton Towers, with our free tickets from 'The Sun'. We were all very excited and the journey down was filled with, " Do you want to go on ... Ben?" by a very excited Megan. Being that it was the weekend and a lovely warm day, Alton Towers was busy. Lots of people, lots of queues. This didn't bother us too much as we were heading for the smaller rides.

We started in Storybook land where we met the animals, spent an exciting 10 minutes in the berry bash, firing soft balls at each other and everyone else! We had a tractor ride, went for a relaxing boat ride, (Barnyard I Spy) and our favourite in Storybook Land, the Nutty Squirrel Ride, where you travel through the trees in a little 'car'.

When we left Storybook Land, we stopped to recharge our batteries and have our picnic.

We then jumped on the sky ride over to Cloud cuckoo land. This caused massive excitement from Megan and Ben, as they loved the view over the park from so high up.  Our first stop was Charlie and the chocolate factory ride.  Megan was very nervous of this as she hadn't been on it before and is very wary of the unknown.  However, she was pleasantly surprised as there was nothing too 'jumpy' about it. Ben particularly enjoyed the end of the ride where you feel like you are travelling in the great glass elevator. When I talked to Megan about it after we came out, she was really surprised when I told her that we hadn't moved and it was the effects on the walls that gave the illusion of movement and the feeling that we were shooting up and down.

Our next stop was the 4d cinema, showing ice age 4. Having just been to Legoland last week we were all excited to experience another 4d cinema experience.  The special effects included snow, dinosaur snot and spit, (lovely!) Cold winds, and things grabbing your legs, which scared me beyond belief!  Ben found the whole thing a bit overwhelmingly and sat on my knee throughout, hiding when the dinosaurs roared loudly, but claimed he did like it afterwards!
Megan really enjoyed it, even though she clutched daddy's hand all the way through!

We went on the carousel, another family favourite, before heading towards Mutiny Bay.

Megan and Ben went on the pirate ships with daddy.  On these, you have to fire a water 'cannon' at other people on other boats, with an added bonus that people can fire cannons from the sides at the boats too! Needless to say, all three got absolutely soaked! They all loved it though and wanted to go on again. 
Unfortunately we were rapidly running out of time as the rides were all closing at 5pm, so we decided to go on the grand canyon rapids.  This time I got wet and the 'three wet ones' got even wetter!

Our last stop was the sealife aquarium.  I really like going in here, even though it is quite small, as it has a great variety of creatures. Both children loved the sea creatures, especially the sea horses, sharks and sting rays  and had a handle of shrimps which 'tickled'!

When we came out of the aquarium, we had an ice cream and headed towards the monorail and home.

A really lovely day, which we all enjoyed!

Ben even took the map into playgroup today and told everyone about his day out and what he had gone on!

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Back to playgroup

The gallery - back to playgroup

Ben went back to playgroup today after 7 weeks off. Considering the length of time he had been off over the summer he was fine going. He was eager for me to come in with him so when we arrived we went in, found his name and put it on the board. We then went to the computer where we had a little play.  I then told him I was going and would be back soon and he was so grown up, gave me a kiss and carried on playing. 

When I picked him up, he had had a lovely time, painted me a picture and played in the water.  He was also very pleased because everyone had sung happy birthday to him and he got a birthday badge!

So proud of my big boy!

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Starting year 3

The gallery - back to school

This is the first time I have posted on the gallery and with the theme of back to school, I couldn't not.

My beautiful girl started year 3 today. She was very nervous, a bit tearful but had a lovely day.

Time just flies, it only seems a year ago she started nursery and four years have passed in the blink of an eye.

She looked so very grown up and I was one very very proud mum.

Monday, 3 September 2012

My birthday

Hot on the heels of Bens birthday is mine.  Since Ben arrived into my life 3 years ago my birthday feels like a bit of an extension to his, which is lovely for both me and him. Banners are up, balloons are floating around and birthday cards are everywhere.

The last 3 birthdays have mixed memories for me because as well as it being my birthday, it was the day, or more precisely, afternoon, I came home from hospital with Ben to start our new life as a family of 4.  But it was also the day Megan started reception and I wasn't there to take her and pick her up. Instead, her dad and nana took her and picked her up, which she loved, as it was a real treat, but I felt, and still do to some extent, really guilty it wasn't me doing it. I'm her mum and it should of been me taking my darling daughter to school on her first day. I saw the photos and she told me all about it and I don't think for one minute it bothered her, but its just one of those things that has nagged away in the back for my mind, that if I could change I would.

Saying all that, the afternoon that she started school, when I came home with her little brother, was when I realised how grown up she was.  Starting 'big' school and becoming a big sister all in one go!

So today I had a lovely birthday with lots of memories.  The sun was shining so I went with my mum, sister and all 4 kids to Heaton park. We took a picnic, bikes and scooters and had a fun filled afternoon playing in the park, rolling down hills (ben), and having ice cream.

I can't think of a better way to spend my birthday!

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Bens 3rd birthday

I can't believe my little man is 3 today.  I can vividly remember the day, the minute, the second he came into my life and I knew our little family was complete.  Ben was the perfect baby. He really didn't wake up for about 8 weeks. He just slept and grew and grew and grew! He was the most cuddly and chubby baby I have ever seen. People commented frequently on his size, which never bothered me as I knew he would slim down once he was moving, which he did, and by 2 years old he was beautifully in proportion. 

We went to Legoland discovery centre at the Trafford centre today for his birthday.  Ben loved it. Both Megan and Ben are big fans of Lego. We have got a huge box of it that is regularly tipped all of the floor as they construct elaborate houses, cars and Bens particular favourite monsters. 

We have been here before and had a great time. We went on the rides, built a massive duplo house that was about 7 foot tall, played in the play area, spent ages looking at mini Lego as we were all fascinated by the local areas in Lego, such as Blackpool, Manchester united and Manchester city stadiums, and visited the 4d cinema 4 times, just to get soaked again and again!  Throw in MacDonalds, a nerf gun, jigsaws, a Ben 10 watch and a caterpillar birthday cake and it's safe to say Ben has had an amazing day.

Happy birthday my gorgeous boy x