Monday, 30 June 2014

Beauty product of the month - June

You know when a smell takes you back to another place or time, well that's exactly what this White musk sun glow does for me.

One of my favourite perfumes is the original White musk from The Body Shop so when I saw this limited edition of white musk last summer I thought I would try it out and bring in on holiday with me to Spain.
At first I admit that I wasn't too keen on it, maybe because it doesn't actually smell much like White musk! I thought I would try and use it up while I was away and forget about it, but after covering myself with it everyday of my holiday it grew on me and now I love it.

On returning I used the perfume occasionally as there wasn't much left, it immediately transported me back to my Spanish apartment with the hot sun shining onto the large balcony that overlooked the swimming pool.

Unfortunately I have just finished the bottle and I feel like I have lost the scent of Spain!

What smell transports you back to another space in time?

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Simple white loaf

 A while ago I wrote on my bucket list that I would like to bake bread. I have never been much of a baker but on the occasions that I do chose to make something it is usually cake as that is one of my favourite things to eat! But bread is part of almost everybody's diet, it's one of those things that is always in the house for when you need a quick bite to stave off the hunger.

Bread uses such few ingredients and is simple to make that I am surprised it has taken me so long to get round to making it. I didn't want to start off with anything too fancy that had seeds and stuff so I just opted for a simple white loaf.


500g strong white flour
7g sachet of yeast
2 tsp salt
3 tbsp olive oil
300ml luke warm water

Mix the ingredients together to form a dough and place on a floured surface and start to knead.
A machine can be used for this but I think kneading is the best thing about making bread and is a great workout for the arms.
After 5-10mins of kneading you should have a nice smooth dough. This can be placed back into the bowl, covered and left to rise for 1 hour.

Remove the dough from the bowl and mould into the desired shape, place on a tray lined with parchment paper and leave to prove for a further hour. It can be covered with clingfilm of a tea towel while proving.

Heat the oven to 220C and bake the bread for 25-30mins. Once it is golden brown, remove and leave to cool on a wire rack.

Voila... we have bread!

I don't think I scored the top of the bread hard enough with the knife as the lines didn't separate however the bread was a nice texture, crusty on the outside and soft on the inside. I thought it tasted a bit bland but the kids loved it and if you use plenty of butter or a sweet filling such as jam then this doesn't matter.

Do you bake your own bread?

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

And the Liebster award goes to...

A few weeks ago I was given the Liebster award by the lovely Rebecca over at Mrs Meldrum and I was intrigued to see what this award meant. I have been blogging for over a year now and I have put all my blood, sweat and tears into it so I thought it's about bloody time somebody gave me an award for it!

Well I have since learnt that it is not an award as such but a way of nominating your favourite blogs that have 200 followers or less to spread a bit of bloggy love and share those fab reads so others can enjoy them too.

Upon receiving this nomination it is your job to then nominate another 5 bloggers and give them 5 questions to answer and then they do the same and so on and so on...

There are so many lovely bloggers that I would like to choose and these are the ones that made my list:

1. Clarabella
2. Life on planet t
3. Life as our little family
4. Polka dots and cups of tea
5. Chickywiggle

Blogging life can be a bit hectic so please don't feel obliged to write a post if you have already received this award in the past or if you are just too busy, but just know that I think you are fab! Also I am not sure how many followers I myself have so if you don't fit the category of having less than 200 followers then lucky you!!

If you would like to take part then here are your 5 questions:

1. What are your favourite type of posts to write/read?
2. How much time do you spend on blogging?
3. What do your friends and family think about your blog?
4. Have you ever attended any blogging events?
5. Describe yourself in 3 words

Here are the answers to the 5 questions that I was given:

What was the last thing you bought? Today I went to Wilkinson's and bought a bath mat, some hair dye, febreeze and some lovely pens with flowers on them... I know I like to spoil myself sometimes!

Do you have a blogging schedule? I do like to join up with a few linkys so I guess I do schedule at times but I am not super organised.

What type of blog is your favourite to read? I like a whole range of posts which is why I find it hard to stick to one subject on my own blog. I do like to admire blogs with great photography though!

Have you ever thought of venturing into vlogging too? Noooo. I stay as far away from the camera as possible, much prefer to be behind it! My daughter is obsessed with Youtube and she has done a couple of videos.

Describe yourself in one word - Calm

My Prime 5 - guilty pleasure TV shows

I am a complete TV addict and can watch almost anything if I get into it, this means I often have to stop myself from watching certain TV series to avoid getting sucked in otherwise I would never get anything done!

Here are some of the shows that I just cannot miss

Coronation street - I love all the soaps and although I grew up in the east end I do find Eastenders quite depressing at times! I love the humour as well as the drama in corrie and I think I was actually named after Tracey Barlow so it's only right that it's my top show!

Mr Selfridge - This is the only period drama that I have ever watched (yes, I am one of the few people that never got obsessed with Downton Abbey) I love the costumes and the fact that it is based on a real life person as I find it intriguing to get a glimpse of what life was like in the past.

60 minute makeover - I am very nosey and love to take a look into other peoples homes and when there is DIY and home decor involved then I am hooked. The transformations in the houses in the space of 60 minutes is amazing, and no I don't watch it just to see Peter Andre!

Big Brother - I watch this every year and get completely absorbed by all the characters. It is actually really interesting how people can get so involved and emotional over the relationships of 16 strangers locked in a house together but I always do! Not sure who I want to win this years series as yet but I am enjoying the evictions every Friday.

Broadchurch - All the best dramas come on TV over the autumn and there is nothing I like better than to snuggle on the sofa with a blanket as the evenings are getting darker and watch a good drama. Most of them are two or three parts long but as Broadchurch was over a longer period a lot more people really got into it. It totally deserved the awards it received as it kept the audience captivated throughout and wasn't as obvious as some crime dramas can be.

So that is my top 5 list of guilty pleasure TV programmes what are yours? Just write a post and come and add it to the linky at the bottom of the page...

Tantrums and Glitter

Friday, 20 June 2014

Word of the week - Envious

I have been blogging for over a year now and in the beginning I found it quite a lonely activity. I would write just to keep a record of random effects and have an outlet for things I wanted to say, maybe I expected it to be one of those fads that I start and have great expectations of but then quickly get over it and find something else to fill my time but it has become more than that.

I have learnt over time that the more you give, the more you get back. Blogging seems to be a bit like being a parent in the playground. There are lots of little groups that all talk to each other (and block up the gates with their prams!) and then there are the ones that just say hi in passing (pick up their kids and go) Some bloggers have their own little cliques and you somehow feel like you would be intruding if you tried to butt into their conversations but then at the same time if you keep quiet how will anybody ever know who you are?

I hear about blogging conferences all the time but I have never felt like I could be a part of them. Recently, with all the excitement of Britmums live, I have come to realise that we are all in the same position and I am a blogger like all the rest. I may not have 100s of followers or be nominated for awards but that is what conferences are all about... learning new things from each other, growing, and having the opportunity to meet some of the people you spend half your life talking to on the Internet. I wish I realised this earlier and bought myself a ticket because now I am feeling envious of all those lovely ladies and gents that I'm sure are currently having a fab time at Britmums live.
The Reading Residence

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Positive pic of the week #11

This weeks positive pic is of flowers.

At some point in the week I was sitting at the computer (probably on blogger) when the man came into the room with this little bottle and some lovely flowers from the garden. I thought it was a really sweet gesture and they brighten the desk up beautifully.

I love flowers but don't buy them very often because they just don't last long enough so to be able to go out in the garden and pick my own is nice, and I tell you there is no end to the uses of these little bottles, I'm so glad I bought them!

I suppose I should really go out and buy the man a fathers day present now as it's tomorrow and I still haven't got him anything!

What has brightened up your week? Take a pic and link up!

Tantrums and Glitter

Friday, 13 June 2014

Word of the week - Expeditious


There is not much I can say about this week as I can't really remember anything significant happening, all I know is that it has seemed to fly by!

The weather has been glorious, I am getting a great tan and I hope it continues, but I wish time would slow down a bit to enjoy it!

The word expeditious means speedy or quick and derived from the word expedition in 1590-1600.

If you would like to add your own word of the week then visit The reading residence on the link below:

The Reading Residence

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

My Prime 5 - Things to do in the sunshine

This week has been gloriously sunny and it has made me think of all the things I would like to be doing other than working. I am quite fortunate that I get to go out in the sunshine and top up my tan while at work but it is not very relaxing when there are 300 children to supervise while I'm out there! So this is what I will be daydreaming about...

1. Barbecue - There had to be something that involved eating on the list and I love how BBQ's are so much more than just eating...there's drinking too! No seriously it's a very social thing, relaxing and chatting in the garden with the smell of the food tingling your tastebuds. I fancy one right now except I don't actually have a BBQ!

2. Gardening - Nobody wants to go out into the garden and enjoy the sun when it's a mess but personally I steer clear from doing anything out there in the cold winter months! It is lovely and can be quite a workout to go out and mow, trim, plant and generally clear it out but as I have found out from experience it is very satisfying to sit and admire all the hard work once it has actually been done.

3. Swimming - Another thing I hate to do in the winter is swimming, it is just too cold to plunge yourself into a big pool of equally cold water and have any chance of enjoying yourself. In the hot sun however there is nothing more refreshing and we spent nearly our whole holiday last year just lazing about in the pool.

4. Sunbathing - The first day back at work after last years summer holiday we had our photos taken for our identity badges. At this time I had a glowing tan and looked very healthy. I know this because a few weeks ago a boy from my class was looking at the picture on my badge and actually asked me why I was brown in the picture but I was grey in real life? I mean really, grey??... definitely time to get my tanning on!!

5. Reading - I love reading at anytime but on those long sunny afternoons there is nothing better than sitting down with a good book and an ice cold drink and just relaxing.

As you can see from my list I am quite lazy and don't like to do anything too energetic but I am sure there are some adventurous individuals out there who have lots of exciting activities planned...or maybe you are already doing them! So come and join in with #myprime5

Just write your top 5 list of things you like to do in the sunshine and link up. It will be open for 2 weeks so no need to rush your post!

Tantrums and Glitter

Siblings - June

Having one child that loves the camera and three others that try to avoid it at all costs means it's a very rare occasion that I get any nice photos of them together.

The two youngest normally fight like cat and dog, so as I managed to get a picture of them both together and smiling I just had to share. Hopefully at some point I can get one of all four of them in the same shot but I can't promise that they will all be happy!

This post is linked up to Dear Beautiful's family portrait project on the link below.

dear beautiful

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Eyebrow threading

I have been meaning to get my eyebrows threaded for quite a while but never got round to it, or maybe I just heard that it was really painful and purposely put it off!

Well yesterday I had to take a trip into Superdrug and I knew they had a small area set up just for eyebrow threading and thought if it wasn't too full (another excuse) then I would go for it... it happened to be empty!

I notice a lot of ladies that get their eyebrows done have pretty good eyebrows already, they probably get them done regularly but mine have not been touched for weeks and were a mess. I have had them waxed in the past and like how quick it is and how neat the brows look as opposed to when I pluck them and randomly pull out stray hairs.

The actual experience wasn't as bad as I was expecting it to be, it was more uncomfortable than painful and was over really quickly. The one thing I didn't like was that I could feel all the tiny hairs hitting my face as she was pulling them out and afterwards I kept brushing my face thinking there was hair over it. I found the fact that you could hear the hairs being pulled out quite strange too, it was almost like the sound of pulling sellotape off your skin.

I think I prefer to have my eyebrows waxed as there is not much difference in the outcome and having the hot wax applied can actually be rather relaxing but I am glad I gave it a go.

Have you had your eyebrows threaded before and is it something you would do again?

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Positive pic of the week #10

This weeks positive pic is of my 15 year old Jasmin and 9 year old Kieron.

Last weekend we went to watch 2 of my friends run the Race for life at Clapham common. It was a lovely day, luckily not too hot for the runners but warm enough for us standing around waiting to cheer.

I took lots of photos of my friends warming up and running through the finish line but while we were waiting Jasmin was asking me to take her picture. What I love about this shot is that it shows her poser side but it also shows Kieron's cheeky side, he doesn't usually like having his picture taken but whenever I was taking one of Jasmin he was trying to creep in behind without her noticing...typical annoying little brother!

Have you got a picture that puts a smile on your face?
Come and link up below

Sunday, 1 June 2014


Today I took a stroll up the road to have a look at what delicious goodies were on offer at West Norwood Feast.

Feast is a community market that takes place on the first Sunday of every month between the months of April and December. I have passed through some of the stalls on the high street before but have never actually had a good look around or purchased anything, which is quite surprising considering it has been running for a few years now! As well as all the food stalls there is also handmade art and craft, fresh produce and plants, activities for kids and much more..

Today we visited the food fair and even though we went quite late it was still buzzing with people, the grassy area inside the church yard was full with families eating and enjoying the sunshine while up on the church entrance there was music and a bit of dancing going on!

I didn't get many photos as it was so full of people but here are a few of the tasty treats on offer...

The kids enjoyed chocolate croissants and brownies but we didn't want to buy too much food as we had a roast dinner to come home to.

I did not realise they had a retro village with vintage goods which I would have loved to have a browse around so I am just going to have to go back again next month and have another look!

The next Feast will be taking place on the 6th July so if you are in or around the area it is definitely worth popping by and seeing what's on offer.
Our London Link Party
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