Sunday, 14 February 2016

Will You Bee My Valentine?

Love has been in the air in our house for the passed few days. Starting on Friday, the kids had a Valentines disco at school. Miss C was really looking forward to not having to do any work and going for a dance with her friends but Z was feeling a bit worried about it as a girl had asked him to go to the disco with her. He hadn't made up his mind by the time I dropped him off at school on Friday morning.

When I picked them up from school, along with Miss C's best friend who was coming for dinner, they told me all about the disco. They had had a great time, dancing to 1D and playing games. Z was mortified to tell me that the girl who had asked him to the disco kissed him on the cheek and chased him around the gym hall. I'm not sure if he just put on a mortified front and he had secretly enjoyed the attention but he was left with the decision of whether he would be her boyfriend! They are growing up far too fast.

Miss C presented me with this Valentines card which I thought was really cute.

And then I emptied her bag to find another Valentines card from...her own boyfriend! Apparently they are getting married so at least he's in it for the long haul! I asked her if she wanted to give him a Tatty Teddy bear as a present back and she said no, instead giving it to her best friend. Sisters before Misters indeed!

Valentines Day is just another day for Husband and I. Through our own love story we've done the cards, flowers and gifts, the romantic dinners, the nights out. It's not that we don't want to celebrate the day; we just don't see the need in going over the top for one day when we tell each other and show each other we love one another all the time.

However, Husband did bring us some Krispy Kreme doughnuts and, as any good man knows, the way to a girl's heart is through her stomach...with cake!

366 Project 2016 Days 38 - 44

Last Sunday, I was up early with the kids for breakfast and to start getting my bolognaise made for dinner and my ironing done. As much as I love a long lie at the weekend, there is a benefit to getting up early-ish when you don't need to do the school run. Miss C had her horse riding lesson at 12pm as she's been moved up to a more advanced class. She rode Jocky and he was raring to go for his canters. Miss C didn't hold on to her saddle once but she was bouncing out of her seat a lot. After lunch I caught up with Hollyoaks under a blanket on the couch and the kids played a bit of Xbox since it was miserable outside.

On Monday, I dropped the kids off at school and then headed home as I'm on holiday for two weeks! I got on with the first of many college reports I have to do and managed to get it finished before lunch time. I did some prep work for another two reports but I do have all week to get them done without any interruptions which is a big help! I picked the kids up from school and we came home to do their homework. We had fajitas for dinner which are always a favourite!

On Tuesday, after dropping the kids off at school and getting a shower, I conquered my biggest report on assessment and planning. It was supposed to be 3000 words but I did end up going over it a bit! It took me from 9.30am to 2.40pm to do, although I did have some short breaks to regroup and feed myself! Miss C and I did her reading homework when we got home whilst Z got on with his Math work. Husband got home quite late after being stuck in traffic!

On Wednesday, I dropped the kids off at school and spent the day just chilling out. I needed it after my huge report yesterday. It was nice to do nothing. I picked the kids up from school and got on with the homework. Z had to do some research on Tim Peake and Miss C and I read her book. It was lovely to see the sunshine again and it wasn't dark until after 6pm! Spring is on the way!

On Thursday, I dropped the kids off at school and met up with Miss C's best friend's mum for a catch up over coffee and toast. It's great that the kids have such wonderful friends but it's even nicer that we all get on as not only parents but as friends too. In the afternoon I had a meeting to do with my college work which went well and then I picked the kids up from school. I made some of my favourite pasta which you can check the recipe for here.

On Friday, after cleaning the house and taking the kids to school, I got on with some more college work. I have my graded unit coming up and I did some work on the first of three reports for it. The graded unit is really important because it is the only unit that is graded in my course and I really want an A again! Miss C had her best friend over after school. Husband brought us some Krispy Kreme doughnuts and a Chinese takeaway as a treat!

On Saturday, Z headed to Karate whilst Miss C and I went to do the food shop. She's getting very good at helping me pick out all the bits we need. After lunch, we headed to the country park for a big walk and to collect some bits for use on placement. We were knackered when we got home but it was so good to get out in the fresh air again. A doughnut was definitely in order!

Saturday, 13 February 2016

Simple Pasta Salad - Recipe

I literally would eat pasta every day of the week if I could. I love a bolognaise, a carbonara, something spicy, something creamy...if it has pasta in it, I'll eat it.

The only pasta I'm not keen on is macaroni and that's really because I don't like cheese sauce. I make my own cheese sauce for Husband and the kids and they love it but I always make myself something different. Sometimes I'll have a bit of salmon with a black pepper and lemon butter sauce mixed through some penne or fussilli but when I don't have fish, I make a simple pasta salad.


A couple of handfuls of your favourite pasta
A couple of handfuls of spinach
Some plum tomatoes, sliced in half
Some spring onions, chopped and sliced
A good dash of a balsamic vinaigrette
A tablespoon of olive oil
Salt and pepper to season

Let's cook it!

Cook your pasta as per the cooking instructions on the packet. Whilst it is cooking, chop up your spring onions and tomatoes. When the pasta is ready, drain it and sit it to the side. In a pan, heat your olive oil and then gently fry your spring onion, tomatoes and spinach, Add in your pasta after a few minutes and put a good amount of the balsamic vinaigrette in; maybe two tablespoons. Season with salt and pepper to your taste, give it a good stir and serve.

This is so simple to make and it tastes great hot or cold. I tend to make enough so that I can put a small amount in a container for my lunch at college the next day.

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Fun Things to do During Half Term

It seems like the children have only been back at school for a few weeks and already it is almost time for another holiday!

The February holiday is a strange one; there aren't any clubs on because depending where you are in the country, some schools only get a few days off whilst others get a full week off. We're lucky in that we get a full week off here!

So as there aren't any clubs of sort to attend, we make our own fun plans for half term. These are some of our favourite things to do:


We love baking and the older the kids get, the more they enjoy it as they have the freedom to weigh and measure out ingredients, pour and mix all by themselves and creative freedom over icing their cakes. We'll definitely do some form of baking over half term...I'm thinking of brownies as we haven't made them in awhile.


Since we stopped taking the kids to swimming lessons, we try and go swimming as often as we can. They love swimming and lessons certainly improved their confidence and skill in the water however they enjoy splashing, jumping in and going down the slide the most.

Ice skating

This is definitely a firm favourite with the kids. Z has been with his friends a few times and really enjoyed himself. Ice skating was something I loved to do when I was younger and we used to go to the ice discos every Friday night. It can be quite expensive to go as a family so we tend to look out for any deals that are on.

Bike rides

The kids and Husband love their bike ride adventures. They were going pretty much every weekend up until the weather got bad but now that it is starting to improve, I think they'll start going more frequently. I haven't got a bike but I might take them out during half term and try and run alongside them. Maybe.


We're lucky that we have quite a few parks within walking distance and one in particular has many forest trails you can walk through. The kids love these types of walks. Ask them to walk in to town or to the library...they ain't for it. But they can walk for hours in the country park, spotting wildlife and collecting leaves, chestnuts or flowers depending on the season.


I do love to visit the library during half term holidays. The kids get to pick some books that they haven't read before (which is really quite hard given they have over 500 books in this house!) and they do some colouring in at the art table. Our library also has a museum and art gallery which is fun to look around and passes the time.

Play dates with friends

I will quite happily have a house filled with the kids' friends at any time because they all keep each other amused and I can get on with the mundane tasks that the kids find boring. Miss C loves when her best friend comes over to play and Z enjoys having someone other than Miss C to play Xbox with. You'd think they'd all be needing a break from one another after spending 5 days a week together in school but they never do.

What are your favourite things to do during half term?

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Hedgehugs Hopping Hot - Book Review

The Hedgehugs picture book series is a really sweet collection about two hedgehogs named Hattie and Horace. Hedgehugs Hopping Hot is the third book in the series written by husband and wife team Steve Wilson and Lucy Tapper. Lucy also illustrates the book beautifully.

In this book, Horace and Hattie are playing together and having lots of fun but they end up far too hot since it is such a glorious day. They try to keep themselves cool by copying some of the ways the other animals in the forest keep cool; jumping in to the pond with the frogs and rolling around in the mud with the worms but nothing works.

They do eventually find a way to keep cool and enjoying not only hopping together but finding a way that they can stay dry when it starts to rain.

This is another lovely book from the series. It is very easy to read and the pictures are very pretty and calming to look at because of the pastel colours used throughout.

It is published by Maverick Books and is available to buy now.

We received this book for the purposes of a review. The opinions expressed are my own.