Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Beauty product of the month - April

With the sun now making an appearance I have seen quite a few ladies rocking their sandals and showing off their tootsies. My feet are not quite ready to be aired but I'm sure after a couple of applications of this heel genius from Soap and Glory they will be ready to roam free!

The cream is a green colour and not too heavy consistency, it has a pleasant smell and like other foot creams it has that powdery feeling, although it does dry quickly.

I have never had a proper pedicure and probably wont get one anytime in the near future (will have to add it to my bucketlist) so for now this fruity foot cream will have to do. Lets just hope the sun stays around long enough to get the flip flops out!

What beauty products are you using to get summer ready?

Monday, 28 April 2014

50 books 2014 - April

 This month I have managed to read 4 books! I am glad I finished four but I thought as we had two weeks off school I would have read a couple more. Three of the books were quite easy reads but Mercy was very long and took a while to get through so that's probably what took up most of my reading time.

The fault in our stars is about a teenage girl named Hazel who has terminal cancer and her relationship with her boyfriend (Augustus) who is also a cancer sufferer. Hazel is obsessed with a novel that came to an abrupt ending and is desperate to find out what happens to the characters of the story from the hard to reach author. Will Augustus succeed in helping her get the information before she dies?

I bought this book for my son and he recommended it to me. I found it to be very witty and loved the relationships between Hazel, her family and her few friends. I can see how many teenagers can relate to the characters as they seemed very real. There were parts of the book that seemed to drag on a bit so I can understand when some people said they find it boring but overall I would recommend it.

There are two interwoven stories in this novel. First the story of Jamie McDonald who kills his terminally ill wife to end her misery, he heads to a town where he knows his cousin is the chief of police but does this help his case? The chief Cam McDonald doesn't seem to sympathies much with his cousin and is otherwise occupied by another new arrival to the town in the shape of a mysterious lady named Mia, but what will his wife make of her?

One of my favourite books ever is 'My sisters keeper' and I love the way Jodi Picoult writes but I was a bit disappointed with this book. It took me a while to get through it and although there were a few parts that kept me page turning into the night, I did feel that the story was a bit long winded. I still have a couple of other Picoult books on my shelf that I want to read this year so hopefully they will make up for this one!

After separating from Josh, Ginny finds herself unexpectedly pregnant and alone. Thinking her life is over and struggling with morning sickness her friends lend a supporting shoulder but will they convince her that everything is going to be okay?

This is a very light-hearted and amusing story, I did find myself laughing out loud a few times! It is currently free on the kindle (I do like my free kindle books) so would recommend downloading while you can if you have a kindle app.

Rosemary Wickum always finds treasure at the dump, but the last thing she expects to find there is the love of her life! When Gary, the handsome owner of a recycling centre, begins to pursue her she is reluctant to act on it but with the whole towns encouragement will she get her happy ever after?

I didn't expect this book to start out at the dump but it quickly moves on from rubbish to raunchy! Quite an enjoyable book with some delightful characters particularly the busy bodies in the town that try to push Rose and Gary together.

May is a very busy month for me so I'm not sure how many books I will get through, I might have to give up a few TV programmes to keep up! I have currently read 13 books out of the 50 I hope to read this year! How many have you managed to get through?

Ups and downs

Mealplan Monday - 28/04/14

I think I will do a simple meal plan this week as I expect it's going to be a busy one!

Monday - Fish and chips

Tuesday - Pie, mash and veg with gravy

Wednesday - Taking my teens to watch Spiderman 2 so I think I will treat us to a Wimpy meal!

Thursday - Cheese and broccoli pasta bake

Friday - Fry up

Saturday - Home made french bread pizza

Sunday - casserole

This mealplan is linked up to #mealplanningmonday over at Mrs M's

Meal Planning Monday

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Word of the week - Sagacious

I was quite looking forward to this week, getting back into the swing of things and enjoying the sunshine on the morning walk to school (that didn't happen) I was mostly liking the fact that it was a three day working week for me, apart from the fact that on one of those days I had to attend college to do a test and have an interview!

Back in November I applied to do a Diploma in Photography at my local college, it's something I have wanted to do for years but have never found a course that is suitable for me. All the courses I have come across have either been too short and not providing a qualification or full time meaning I couldn't work while I was doing it.

When Thursday came I was feeling quite nervous, not so much for the interview but more for the test, I mean I support children in their Maths and Literacy everyday so what if I went for a test and failed it? Luckily there was no waiting around for results as the tests are taken on a computer and the results come up the second you finish taking it.

After passing both tests...Yippee! I had an interview with the Performing Arts tutor, who was really sweet and encouraging, she liked the photos I had taken in to show and said I would be a perfect candidate for the course and I left feeling rather sagacious and pleased with myself!

For your information the word sagacious means clever and comes from 1600's Latin word sagire meaning to be astute.

This word of the week is linked up with #wotw over at The Reading residence.

The Reading Residence

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Mealplan Monday 21/04/14

I know it's not Monday, but on Monday I was busy getting drunk on Bacardi and coke at a BBQ otherwise engaged and therefore unable to do my mealplan so it is now 2 days late... better late than never as my mother always says!

So here is what we are, and already have been eating this week...

Monday - BBQ

Tuesday - Curry and rice

Wednesday - Meatballs and spaghetti cooked by my lovely teenager

Thursday - Jacket potatoes

Friday - Pizza and chips

Saturday - Pie and mash

Sunday - Roast chicken and all the trimmings

This mealplan is linked up to #mealplanning Monday over at Mrs M's

Meal Planning Monday

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Positive pic of the week #5

This weeks positive pic is of Kieron enjoying the zip wire at a local park.

Although the weather hasn't been fantastic it has been bright and sunny and it's nice to be able to get outside and take in some fresh air. The kids are still at an age where they can have fun at the park, I like the fact that they are free and the kids are old enough to roam around on there own without me following behind so I can find a bench to sit on a read a book.

What simple pleasures have you had this week? If you have a photo feel free to add to the link below!

Friday, 18 April 2014

Word of the week - Insouciant

Surprisingly the holiday hasn't flown by like they usually do and although we have spent quite a lot of time out of the house it has been pretty relaxing. It is nice to be able to go and visit friends and family without having to rush back home for kids bedtimes or to make sure the washing is done and the kids have finished homework.

This week I have spent time catching up on my reading and have even had a few afternoon naps, although I'm surprised I need to with all the lie-ins I've had! I think next week when I go back to work I'm going to be falling asleep in class!

Thursday, 17 April 2014

My mess of a garden

Apologies in advance for the state of my garden!

We have had some work done on the house and as a result we have been left with a mess of a garden...OK, I admit it didn't look too great beforehand. I have every intention of sorting it out but I am not very green fingered and apart from cutting it all down I just don't know where to start!

It is not a very large garden but I think there is potential to do something with it. Hopefully the scaffolding will be removed soon and I can give the grass a good cut but I want a bit more colour. I am thinking of going out there this week with the kids and planting some seeds in the pots that are scattered around everywhere.

After clearing away all the rubbish and cutting back the bushes it should seem a bit bigger, although the shed is already packed full of old tat and I do really want to get that emptied as well.
The fence is falling down which leaves the garden exposed to everyone walking past which puts me off sitting out there but hopefully that will be replaced within a few weeks!

Basically I have a lot of work to do! Which is why I am linking up to How does your garden grow with Mammasaurus. I wouldn't want to shame myself by putting photos of the same mess every week so hopefully it will encourage me to pull my finger out and make it look beautiful...or even half decent will do!

I promise next time I will post some prettier pictures, even if I have to go into someone else's garden!
If you have any gardening advice it would be greatly appreciated x

Mammasaurus and How Does Your Garden Grow?

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Sleep paralysis and me

I have been meaning to do a post on sleep paralysis for a while as I have noticed a few links and pictures of other peoples experience of it and they seem quite different to mine, also I have had a couple of episodes this year and thought I would share what it is like for me.

If you have never heard of it, Sleep paralysis is a phenomenon where people temporarily experience an inability to move either when they are falling asleep or just waking up. Sometimes along with the paralysis is also the thought or sight of terrifying images such as an intruder in the room, this is believed to be the result of a hyper vigilant state created in the midbrain and what makes it more scary is that the person is unable to react to it, due to the inability to move.

There are two types of sleep paralysis:  isolated sleep paralysis (ISP) and recurrent isolated sleep paralysis (RISP).

ISP episodes are shorter (a few seconds to a few minutes) and less frequent. It could only happen once in a persons lifetime. RISP happens quite frequently throughout the persons life and an episode can last much longer, anything up to a few hours which I can't imagine because just a few seconds is terrifying enough!

Here are some images that describe some individuals perception of sleep paralysis...

One of these images goes right back to 1700's and are enough to give you night terrors just looking at them!

For me sleep paralysis started as far back as I can remember, although I had no idea what it was until I researched it as an adult. I remember when I was very young I thought it was just one of those things that happens, like hiccups, or getting dizzy when you stand up too quick, I thought it happened to everyone!

When mentioning in passing to people the effects of sleep paralysis I would either get funny looks or laughter as a response, I think some people even thought I was making it up which is when I realised it wasn't a normal thing that happens during sleep and there must be something wrong with me.

In my experience sleep paralysis happens when I've been woken up in the night or early morning and I am trying to get back to sleep, I often feel really tired with heavy eyes and really close to nodding off when I can feel it happening, it sort of creeps up on me and to try and avoid it I hang an arm or leg out of the bed and start swinging it to stop my body getting 'locked in' as I refer to it. Only I am too tired to keep swinging and my arm will go slower and slower until it stops and then I can't move!

I never wait to actually find out how long an episode of paralysis lasts as I get really worried, the only way I can describe it is I 'jump' out of it. I take all my energy which often takes a few deep breathes and I jerk my body suddenly then I have to move around, a bit like fidgeting to try and shake it off. Most of the time it happens only once in the night but I have had it happen more than once and I have just ended up getting out of bed.

I know that when sleep paralysis is occurring I cannot speak or shout out but more recently I have also noticed that my breathing feels laboured, like I have to concentrate on breathing rather than it just happening normally and afterwards its almost like I'm gasping for air like I've been under water, this is probably what is the most scary part. You know when you hear news stories of people that die in their sleep for no apparent reason I always think, what if they had paralysis and stopped breathing but nobody knew? Although from what I have seen online most health sites don't see it as anything serious and I think you are only prescribed medication if it is something that happens on a regular basis. Sometimes for me it can happen every few months other times it doesn't happen for years. I have never noticed a pattern of it happening after any particular life events or after eating certain foods, it seems like it's quite random.

So I'm sure you are wondering what this has to do with demons and other scary creatures holding you down? Well thankfully I cant say I have experienced that side of paralysis but I have had two experiences of something strange being in the room with me. 
On one occasion as a teenager I was sleeping on the top bunk and woke up really early, while trying to go back to sleep I could here a buzzing. My head wasn't too far away from the lampshade and I was convinced there was a bee flying around. I desperately wanted to move or swat the bee away from my head but I couldn't, I couldn't even open my eyes to see the thing and the buzzing was getting louder and louder. All of a sudden I jumped out of it opened my eyes and the room was silent, there was no bee in the room and the window was closed, it was all just in my imagination.
Recently I had an episode and I couldn't see or hear but I 'felt' the cat come into my room and walk along the bottom of my bed but when I opened my eyes the cat wasn't there.

I am interested to here other peoples experiences of sleep paralysis, particularly if you have seen or heard anything strange while it is happening and also how you cope during and after this time?

*I used wikipedia to research the scientific information in this post and pictures are courtesy of google.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Mealplan Monday - 14/04/14

I didn't do a mealplan last week, mostly because I was ill and couldn't face sitting in front of the computer but also as I am trying to lose weight and attempting to just have juice rather than meals. I thought I would let the kids choose what they would like each day and they were quite happy with that!

On the juicing front it hasn't been entirely successful but I have cut out all random sugary snacks and coffee and replaced them with fruit, it has really made me realise how I eat all the time! Almost like I just eat out of boredom and I just need to constantly be chewing on something.

I am going to eat proper meals this week but will continue to cut out the snacks (probably until the Easter eggs are brought out)

Monday - Chicken and rice (leftover from yesterday)

Tuesday - Sausage and mash with gravy

Wednesday - Steak and chips

Thursday - Going to a BBQ at friends

Friday - Salmon with baby potatoes and veg

Saturday - Meatballs with spaghetti

Sunday - Lamb chops, roast potatoes, veg

This weeks mealplan as always is linked up with Mrs Ms #mealplanningmonday

Meal Planning Monday

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Positive pic of the week #4

My positive pic this week is of my cupcake cross stitch. 

I love doing cross stitch and have so many patterns that I want to make but I'm a bit worried to start as this particular one has taken me around three years to complete! I know it's not exactly massive but once I put them away they seem to stay in the draw forever until I get that urge to start again and with everything else going on in life I need to find the time to do it.

These gorgeous cupcakes are going to go into a frame and up on my kitchen wall.

If you have a picture that you would like to add to #pospicofweek please do so at the bottom of the post.

Friday, 11 April 2014

Word of the week - Crescive

Another week and another word I've never heard of, have you?

This week has been the school holidays and without all the hustle and bustle of daily life I have been able to take in just how grown up my children are getting, like really grown up, I mean my son has a moustache AND a beard... when did that happen?

At the beginning of the week I started to feel ill (typical) and my kids were so understanding , they didn't expect anything of me instead they would ask if I needed anything and happily get on with chores around the house (I have taught them well)

Its really lovely that they are growing and becoming independent but there are certain things I miss about them being small, as well as seeing all the milestones and having lots of cuddles the thing I think I miss the most is being the cleverest person in the world!

You know when kids go through that 'but why?' stage and they just want to know everything about the world, well I always had an answer... Okay sometimes it was a made up answer but to them I knew everything!

I remember a girl in primary school asking my daughter if she knew the words to a certain song and she proudly replied "I don't know the words but my mum does, because she knows the words to every song in the world!" It's true, any song that came on the radio or TV, I just had to sing along to it and I still do now. I love music from all eras and genres so she got it into her head that I knew every song and who was I to burst her bubble?

Now sadly times have changed, I find myself asking my children how to spell certain words and random facts, well my son knows them all, he's like a walking encyclopedia.
I am know in awe of them, how clever, polite, funny and beautiful they have become... but then I suppose I did teach them everything they know!

For your information the word crescive comes from 1560-70 Latin word cresc meaning; increasing or growing.

This post is linked up to #wotw over at The Reading residence.

The Reading Residence

Sunday, 6 April 2014

London Transport Museum

I have had the pleasure of visiting The London Transport Museum twice in the last month but I have to say I didn't actually get to see much!

As I went with the school on both occasions as part of the Year four topic of trains, we were limited with time and spent half of it in the classroom learning about engineering. I say it was in the classroom learning which actually makes it sound boring but it was really interactive and I love the fact that working in a school means that I also learn great facts at the same time as the children.

Did you know the first 3 underground stations were Paddington, Farringdon, and Kings cross? And to build them they actually dug up along all the main roads between each station to put the tunnels in (none of these massive boring machines they use nowadays) over 150 years ago.

The museum is situated on the corner of Covent garden but unfortunately I didn't get a chance to nosey around the market as I had 60 kids in tow! There is a charge for adults to enter but I think kids go free. To find out about prices etc visit Their website

On arrival the children were all given a stamp card with numbers printed down the side. Plotted around the museum are numbered posts where you can stick your stamp card in and get a stamp. I think this is great for kids as they can stamp as they explore but when taking a large group as we did they were so worried about getting all the stamps before the rest of their class that they weren't paying any attention to the fabulous things around them!

I didn't have my camera with me so excuse the bad quality of the pictures, I took these photos on my tab...

The museum is arranged over 3 floors, although the top two are much smaller, it is relatively small compared to a lot of other museums around London. I have visited quite a few with the school and with my own children and I must say this is one of the best for the amount of involvement the children can have. 
There are a lot of interactive games, touch screens, listening devices and as well as looking at all the past and present vehicles you can actually climb upon a few and even pretend to be the bus driver!

We had a lunch room that had a small cafe that was closed, I think this may be because it was term time and may be open to the public in the holidays. 

If you are looking for somewhere to go with the kids in the holiday then I would recommend The transport museum for a great day out.

Our London Link Party

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Positive pic of the week #3

My positive pic this week is of my back doors.

For a start they are nice, new, double glazed doors and I finally have rid of the old, wooden, stiff ones!

The view isn't too great at the moment but when we have the scaffolding removed and the rose bush starts blooming I think it will be a lovely view to have breakfast to in the mornings, especially with the Spring sun shining through.

(please excuse the orange flowers in the pink vase but its the only one I had available)

If you have a picture that's brightened up your week then feel free to link up at the bottom of the page. To see rules and grab a badge click here

Friday, 4 April 2014

Word of the week - Ebullient

This week I am being positive!

It hasn't been a great week, but then it hasn't particularly been a bad week either and I'm thinking there are people going through a lot worse than I am so I need to be grateful for what I have.

If you didn't know already, it is the last week of term (for some) and I am really looking forward to the Easter holidays. I haven't got much planned as yet but I hope to spend some time with friends who I don't make enough of an effort to see! I also want to take the kids out on a few day trips, do some crafting and sort the garden. I'm actually quite excited about giving my house a spring clean! (it really needs it)

I know its a bit of a weird time of year to try and lose weight... particularly for a chocoholic, but I'm hoping to lose half a stone before my birthday which is around 6 weeks time. I have never been a gym type of girl but hopefully a few sessions of 'Just dance' on the Xbox Kinect will whip me into shape... along with getting good use out of my juicer rather than raiding the cupboard for biscuits.

For your information the word ebullient means overflowing with enthusiasm and excitement and high spirited.
It comes from the Latin word ebullientem meaning to burst out, to bubble. It was first recorded in 1660s

This post is linked up with #wotw over at The Reading residence.

The Reading Residence
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