Monday, 9 November 2015

#MealPlanningMonday - 9th November 2015

5:2 Diet Vegetarian Meals for one
Squiggle has become a bit of a fussy eater lately and just wants to eat fish fingers every night, which was OK for a few days but now I'm getting fed up of trying to cook 2 seperate meals every night, especially as I have no idea about portion control. I always make far too much and even though I freeze some and give my granny some I always seem to have lots going to waste. Luckily last week I won a copy of 5:2 Diet Vegetarian Meals for One. I'm not a vegetarian and I'm not following the 5:2 diet but some of the recipes in this book look really yummy and they are designed to make just one portion ( which will be a shame if I decide I want seconds! )

Anyway after having a quick skim through I have decided to attempt to make:

Butternut Squash Risotto
Stroganoff with rice ( the recipe calls for Tofu but I'm going to substitute for beef )
Low fat Pesto Tagliatelle

I'll let you know how I get on with them.

I've also got a pan of parsnip soup that I made yesterday and sorry Skippy but I found some Kangaroo steaks in Lidl and thought I'd give them a try - I'm not sure if Squiggle will want to try them or not, you never know he may surprise me and broaden his food horizons this week!

As usual this post is linked up with Meal Planning Monday, head over to Mrs M's blog to get more inspiration.

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Silent Sunday - 1st November 2015

The Lights Are On But No One's Homer - A little bit about my blog.

I get quite a few funny looks when I'm out and about and introducing myself and my blog - Hi I'm Joanne, and I write a blog called The Lights Are On But No One's Homer, I think mainly because it is such a mouthful to say the full title or at least I hope so and they're not just looking at me like I am a weirdo! I've managed to cut down my name on Twitter to just simply No One's Homer and I probably should follow suit on Instagram but I'm attached to my alter ego name of Felixthemog which I've been known as since I first joined the World Wide Web, but that doesn't fit with this blog.

When I first started blog writing many years ago I was starting out as Fat Girl Thin, and was supposed to be blogging about weight loss, however 12 months after I started writing my blog I was hospitalised with acute pancreatitis following an emergency C-Section and was in hospital for 9 months and consequently lost 10 stone in weight so I didn't need really to blog about weight loss. ( although that's all changed in the past few years! )

When I finally got back to a decent level of health I decided it was time for a new outlook on life, and a new blog name. So after racking my brains for what seemed like forever I thought about a word play on my name Homer and came up with The Lights Are On, But No One's Homer. I do have "blonde" moments, I was born blonde, and regularly dye my hair blonde so I'm entitled to say that!

I do live in my own little world sometimes, and have been occasionally accused of not getting things straight away but don't let that fool you. I think I am quite intelligent, however I just choose not to show it! Ever since my stay in hospital (where I nearly died twice) I have become a completely different person, I am a bit more scatty, slightly more immature, but if it means I can enjoy life and I'm not hurting anyone then that's fine by me. Yes I regularly dress up in fancy dress, I might look like a total div and you might feel embarrassed for me but I'm not embarrassed and my son loves it. As far as he is concerned his mum is ace!

My blog is a place where I can share my memories about the mad things that happen round here, the crazy things that my family do, and occasionally do grown up things like write product reviews and attend events.

Am I going to change the name following last years split from Mr Homer? No, this is who I am and he was a part of my life, and I will always be living with a Homer thanks to my son Squiggle.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and my other posts and I hope you enjoy reading what I write. Please feel free to leave any comments on any posts, it's always good to get feedback from my readers.

Thursday, 22 October 2015

#SaveourSausage - An Evening with Paul Rankin

I am a very fussy person when it comes to sausages, so I was most intrigued when last week, Squiggle and I received an invitation to go and meet with Celebrity Chef Paul Rankin at the Great John Street Hotel in Manchester as he launched his new Rankin Selection Irish Family Sausages.

Michelin star Paul Rankin regularly appears on TV and is a personal favourite of mine from his time on Saturday Morning kitchen and the infamous three egg omelette challenge. Well he is now launching his own range of traditional Irish sausages in an attempt to bring back family meal times. He is currently touring Britain and Ireland with his Rankin Challenge where he just asks that you compare his sausages against the current market leader, see which you prefer and let him know.

Which was what our evening was all about. We were given an introduction to Paul and learnt how he has been working with artisan Irish food producer, Finnebrogue, to create a better quality sausage.
The evening was full of fun and laughter, we started off with a canape reception with sausage rolls and sausages in lovely sweet chilli sauce and then shown through to the dining room. We played a game of Silly Sausage where Paul tested our knowledge on the humble banger and I'm pleased to say I was part of the winning team. Squiggle was invited to go and choose our prizes, a choice of a Paul Rankin frying pan or an all day breakfast made out of sweets, he surprised us all by going for the frying pan!

We were then served a plate of bangers and mash with an onion gravy, I must admit I was wary, I've had bad experiences with sausages in the past but I needn't have worried. The sausages were lovely, there was no "bad bits" in them which I have found with the current market leader.

Paul said that he prefers to fry his sausages for 20 minutes, I personally prefer not to stand in front of a cooker for this length of time and admit I do mine in the oven.  I noticed such a difference when I cooked these sausages at home. Firstly they didn't explode ( there is no need to prick them ), secondly there was no excess fat in the pan when I cooked them and thirdly they taste so much better than other sausages that I have tried.

Rankin Selection Irish Family Sausages are now on sale in Asda at an introductory price of £1.75 (£2.00 RRP)  for a pack of 8

I was invited to this event by Tots100 and was given a goody bag and a packet of sausages in exchange for this review. 

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

40 Things to Do Before 40 - Andrew Lloyd Webber's - Cats

Finally months after posting my bucket list of things to do before I turn 40, I can finally tick the first one off my list.

I went to Blackpool last month with my Mum and Grandma to the Winter Gardens to see Andrew Lloyd Webber's - Cats. I have seen it once before, about 10 years ago, but to be honest I didn't really understand it, other than it was a musical about a bunch of singing cats, but I did like it enough to want to watch it again.

Second time round I knew what the storyline was about and was prepared for the cats prowling around the audience before it started. I also had my tissues ready for the big number, I am such a soft soppy sod. Whenever I hear Memory I get a cold shiver down my spine and the flood gates just open and being a musical it's in there a couple of times as the main number and a reprise. Anyway I didn't have enough tissues and I'm not sure which was worse for those sitting around us, either listening to me sobbing or my Grandma singing all the way through. I mean come on, they've paid good money to hear professionals sing not some amateur dramatic star from back in the days* ( although she does have a great singing voice - sadly it wasn't passed on to me )

So there we go, number one ticked off the list, time to crack on with the next one!

*I love my gran to bits and this is not meant in an offensive way at all, in fact she laughed when we said the exact same thing to her!

Thursday, 24 September 2015

A Day Out - Liverpool Pirate Festival 2015

Last weekend I ventured to Liverpool with my mum and Squiggle, dressed as pirates, with hats and swords in tow, for the annual Pirate Festival.
Based at The Albert Dock, the weekend was full of pirates, cannons, music and stories.

Visitors are encouraged to go along in fancy dress and well ...... we couldn't resist.

My mum is a dab hand at sewing, so she made a cute little skeleton pirate themed costume for Squiggle.

Mum and me put together our own ensemble, but after looking at some of the costumes the actors and other visitors wore, we are going full on pirate next year. Watch this space.

The line up of entertainment was slightly different on both days, we visited on Saturday so were lucky enough to see Swashbuckle's Cook and Line do a show. They read/acted out a story to the youngsters which was full of noise and water pistols. It was good to see the adults joining in too with a few shouts of argh argh and aye aye Captain! They really entertained the crowd and got us in the mood for a day of pirate antics!

In the afternoon we took part in the pirate parade, which went around The Albert Dock and incorporated a story of the Pirates vs The Kings Navy. Trying to explain to Squiggle why The Kings Navy was after us got confusing especially as I'm trying to teach him right from wrong. Of course pirates are baddies, but we were dressed as pirates and therefore on this occasion we were the "goodies" or were we just good as being bad??? confused? - I was!

Anyway, we followed the pirate marching band and had the first encounter with The Kings Navy, gunpowder, cannons and smoke filled the air as they "attacked" us.

We continued into the court yard and was met by another crew of pirates and The Kings Navy, a sword fight followed, a pretty maid was kidnapped and a full on war declared.

The battle took place a short while later as the pirate ship The Schooner Vilma took on The Kings Navy, cannons and guns were fired from each of the vessels, land cannons were fired. The noise and atmosphere was amazing. Visitors were on the side of the dock cheering and booing as the boats went past and jumping out of their skin everytime a cannon went off.

I won't spoil it by telling you the end but the good guys won, or should that be the bad guys?*

* See what I meant about it being confusing! 

Monday, 24 August 2015

Meal Planning Monday - 24th August 2015

Here I am, jumping back on the meal planning bandwagon. I actually made a start on this last week when I sat down and planned my shopping list so I could do a last minute online shop. It feels quite weird having actual food in the house - and by that I mean things that easily come together to make an edible meal and not random items like a jar of chicken & mushroom sauce, spaghetti hoops and fruit cocktail, not sure how they would ever go together without me having to make the effort of actually buying something to go with them.

So what is actually for tea?
Well I have in stock this week enough food to make:
Lamb steak and mash
Chicken thighs with squash and sweet potato stew
Spaghetti Bolognaise
Fish fingers
Sweet & sour chicken with rice*
Homemade pizzas - cheat style because I've bought a readymade base

I think I'll get Squiggle involved with the pizzas because he has turned into a bit of a fussy eater over the school holidays, too many days out, takeaways and sandwiches, so it's about time we all got back to eating some good-ish food.

As usual my menu probably won't inspire many of you this week, so why not check out At home with Mrs M for some great meal ideas.

*or I might actually use the aforementioned chicken & mushroom sauce

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Silent Sunday - 16th August 2015

Kettlewell Scarecrow Festival

Yesterday was the annual day trip out to see the Kettlewell Scarecrow Festival. We've been going nearly every year since 2009 to see what wacky and wonderful creations the good people of Kettlewell have created.

The festival started back in 1994 as a fund raising event for the school and was so successful it has continued every year, being held for about 9 days in August and attracting thousands of visitors from all over.

The walk round Kettlewell usually only lasts about an hour or two depending on pace, pub stops, ice cream stops and tea break and my family likes to partake in all of these! It's a gentle wander around a small village and is quite suitable for push chair users.

There is a trail sheet available for adults (£1) or children (50p) and the idea is to follow the clues and look out for the letters which at the end will spell out a word relating to the trail sheet which this year was musicals and Roald Dahl stories. There is a daily prize for the winners of the adults and children's which is drawn at random.

Alongside the themed scarecrows are also a whole host of other scarecrows which are tucked away in hidden corners or made into giant landscaped scenes for all to see.

Here are a selection of my favourite photos from the day.

The Magic Roundabout

Let's go fly a kite

Please can I have my ball back?

Gru and The Minions
The old woman who lived in a shoe

Oh Dave!

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Oh No Fashion Faux Pas!

So for the third time in my life, I turned up wearing the same clothes as someone else tonight. I suppose three times in thirty six years isn't too bad.

The first time was whilst I was working in Birmingham, I turned up to the office wearing the same blouse as my manager who was a good 30 years older than me, she thought it was great that a young lass was wearing the same as her and said she felt younger for wearing it, whereas I was embarrassed that someone 30 years older was wearing it, and felt like going into hiding. So I promptly put my cardigan on and sat covered up for the rest of the day, needless to say I never wore that blouse again!

The second time was at my cousin in laws wedding, I'd picked out the most beautiful dress and felt so lovely in it. I walked into the venue and spotted my dress on another girl. This time I thought it was funny and said we could pass ourselves off as bridesmaids but she was mortified at this, and if the wedding wasn't at a hotel in the middle of nowhere she would have gone home and got changed, but she couldn't. The poor girl then spent the rest of the day and evening avoiding me at all costs, and at one point whilst she was queuing at the bar saw me approaching and walked off. I don't know what her problem was - she looked much better in it than I did.

And so tonight, I walked into the pub and a friend walked past me, you guessed it, wearing the same top as me. However this time I was neither mortified nor embarrassed, because we both looked good in it. Thankfully we were there separately so didn't have to put up with any funny comments or odd looks from the people we were with.

I wonder what will happen the next time?

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Dear Me, I'm sorry

I read this post that a fellow blogger Steph at Tub on the Run wrote last month apologising for not looking after herself properly and felt inspired to write my own after standing on the scales this morning and feeling my heart fall out of the bottom of feet with disappointment.

Dear Me,

I'm so sorry for what I have put you through these last few months. Last year we did really well, we cut down eating crap and started exercising. Every weekend we would go out jogging and even though it was hard in the beginning we were soon running 10 - 13 miles every Saturday and Sunday morning. We might have had a few scrapes, falls and pulled muscles but we did enjoy it.

We also cut down eating crap and within a few moths we'd lost 2 and a half stone and looked and felt fantastic. Yes I had taken up smoking but I was under a lot of stress with the separation.
Now nearly 12 months on and I haven't been kind to you. I no longer go running, the healthy eating has stopped and I'm still smoking. Thankfully I don't drink a lot of alcohol but I do have a nasty Coke habit -  ( Coca-Cola  the fizzy drink not the other type of coke!). The last few weeks for some reason I have found it perfectly acceptable to stuff all kinds of crap food into you despite you telling me that you don't want or can't have any more. You have been screaming at me to stop but I've been like some mad possessed woman hell bent on cramming in as much as I could. 

I stood on the scales this morning, I knew what the outcome was going to be due to the fact that most of my clothes don't fit me anymore, remember all those pretty things we bought last year?, the nice dresses, the smaller sized jeans and the cute tops? well they don't fit very well at the moment, so this is having a knock on effect on your mental state, my self indulgence is now making you feel down in the dumps, I am truly sorry for doing this to you.
Well today was the last straw, the shock of standing on the scales and the horror of not even fitting into my fat jeans has motivated me to do something about it.

So body, mind and soul be prepared for a few tough months as we kick things back into touch. It's going to be hard cutting down on the sugar and fat and takeaways but it needs to be done. So today is day one, the fitness apps will be reopened on my phone, the Vivofit will be dusted off and used to track my daily steps and we will be calorie counting again!

I promise that I will look after you this time, and once again I'm sorry.

Love me.

Friday, 15 May 2015

Psoriatic Arthritis

Well readers as you may have noticed my posts have been few and far between lately and it's all because of my poriasis playing up. You see not only do I have to contend with looking like a scaly dragon when it's bad but a few years ago I was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis and I've been in a heck of a lot of pain lately as it mainly affects my elbows, hands and fingers, hence it's very painful to type anything. In fact its very painful to do a lot of things I've taken for granted, like holding a pen and using cutlery.

My fingers are swollen at the moment which means I've had to take off my rings as I don't want to cut the circulation off, my elbows hurt so I struggled getting out of bed this morning, getting myself dressed was painful enough but then I also had to help Squiggle. Thank goodness there's not too many buttons on his school uniform, I don't know how I'd have fastened them up this morning.

I've never had it this bad before, even in the depths of a cold dark winter I've been able to cope but for some reason this year I'm suffering.

So what's the difference between Psoriatic Arthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Not much really so it can be quite hard to diagnose especially if there is no outbreak of psoriasis on the skin.
The main difference is that rheumatoid arthritis follows a symmetrical pattern meaning that both sides of the body are affected at the same time, whereas psoriatic arthritis is asymmetrical so joints on one side of the body can be affected and not the other side, but like arthritis it can affect any joint.

As usual my skin has flared up over the winter so I'm currently having to cover up - which is good because it's so blooming cold so I'm still rocking jumpers and jeans although I have worn a dress once in last few months because the sun did come out and I didn't want to miss my chance! Unfortunately my dermatology appointment has been put back another month so I won't be seeing the consultant till July now and I need to see him to get referred to the pain clinic. Might have to make a few phone calls and see if I can get in sooner.

Well I've probably done enough typing as my fingers are hurting again, so I'm off to find some Ibuprofen, take care everyone.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Flat chested and arse clapping a.k.a starting to run again!

The sun is shining which means only one thing, time to ditch the winter woollies and get the summer clothes out, cue mad dash for fake tan to cover up the corned beef legs, positive attitude towards endless weeks of dieting and living off lettuce leaves and making an attempt to get back into running again.

Firstly I'm glad to say most of my running clothes still fit in a way, despite the 20lb weight gain since New Years Day! ( it was a shock to me too! ) The trainers have still got a few good miles left in them and I'm now armed with a Garmin Vivofit and a new phone which won't die on me mid run.
However the bra is a little constricting, the T-shirt fits a bit more snug and I won't even say what's going on with the lyrca leggings ( ok you asked for it - camel toe and butt munchers anyone??? )

Being a curvy girl I have always had problems with bouncing body parts, mainly boobs, bum and tum. So tonight I have strapped myself in, I look very flat chested but safe in the knowledge I will survive without getting 2 black eyes, my tummy is slightly held in but my arse is free to wobble about behind me..... which made me think of this.

Hopefully all that clapping will spur me on in the right direction as will my new running partner. A friend of mine has decided to join me, it will be interesting to see how we get on, mainly because she is healthier, thinner and lighter than me so can no doubt run faster and further, but it might just be what I need.

We were going to join our local running track because they are doing the NHS couch to 5K but sadly we aren't always free on the days they hold the sessions, so instead we are just going to jog along the canal, round the park and anywhere else that takes our fancy.

So here I go, I'll let you know how we get on.

Ta ta for now.

Saturday, 28 March 2015

40 things to do before I am 40!

Well I turned 36 this week, where the hell did my life go?

There is so much I have already achieved but then again there is so much more that I want to do.
So I thought a slight kick up the backside might get me going and what better way than to tell the world what I want to do, I'm going to have to do it then, right?

So I thought I'd make a start on my bucket list, and jot down a few ideas of what I want to do with the rest of my life.
I thought it was going to be easy to start with but then I found I ran out of ideas, so I'll make a start with what I've thought of and just add to it if anything else takes my fancy.
  1. Learn to play the guitar
  2. Learn to sew properly
  3. Learn to knit properly
  4. Go on the Russian Vodka Train
  5. Return to Mexico
  6. Go to Disney World
  7. Take my son to Disneyland Paris
  8. Go to a Music Festival
  9. Run an official 10km race
  10. Run a half marathon
  11. Run a marathon
  12. See Phantom of The Opera
  13. See Cats (again ) - completed September 2015
  14. See Wicked
  15. See Barnum
  16. See the Northern Lights
  17. Eat at a Michelin Star restaurant
  18. Ride the Orient Express
  19. Go skiing or snowboarding
  20. Spend Christmas somewhere hot
  21. Spend Christmas somewhere snowy
  22. Spend the night in a haunted house
  23. Go on a Zombie Run
  24. Spend a weekend in London
  25. Own a personalised car registration plate
  26. Go to Las Vegas ( although I suspect this will be carried over in the future onto my 50 things to do before 50 list!)
  27. Maybe have another baby!
Have you got a bucket list? 
What would you most like to do before your next milestone birthday?
Let me know in the comments

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Another Year Older!

So here I am again -  another year older, and it's quite debatable if I am slightly wiser or not.

Where have the past few years gone? Well thanks to my Timehop app on my phone I know exactly what's been happening over the last 6 years!

6 years ago I turned 30, I stopped smoking and was concentrating on trying to start a family.

5 years ago I was 7 months pregnant with Squiggle, and feeling quite ill around the time of my birthday - who knew what was going to happen a week later!

4 years ago I was still recovering from Squiggle's traumatic birth and my acute pancreatitis, but at least I was back home and not still in the hospital.

3 years ago I had a day out shopping with Squiggle and my sister in law, I'd been driving again for just a few months, and although I was still tired and ill, I was now managing to get out of the house on my own and with friends.

2 years ago I was snowed in, and I mean it literally, I couldn't open my back door and there was nearly a 3 foot snow drift at the front. My friends helped cheer me up with their Birthday Mission.

1 year ago I spent the whole day arguing with the husband - enough said.

This year, I finally had a night out to celebrate, it's been a long time coming and I certainly celebrated it in style, with my best friend. ( and when I say style I mean slumming it in the local pubs, but it's still a style of some sorts! )

I had some lovely cards and gifts from my friends and family and I can definitely say without a shadow of a doubt it has been the best birthday in a very long time.

And to top it off, Andi Peters wished me a happy birthday again this year!

Monday, 23 March 2015

Meal Planning Monday - 23rd March 2015

Oh well that was short lived, last week didn't go to plan and I don't expect this week to be much on track either, but I am determined to get back into the swing of things.

I did manage to make my stew & dumplings on Monday and it was delicious, but that's as far as I got. So in fairness if I manage to stick to two meals this week then that's 100% improvement on last weeks effort - right?!?!?

So what's the plan for this week then....

Monday - It's my birthday - I'm going to have a carvery
Tuesday - Chicken & mushroom pasta
Wednesday - Spaghetti bolognaise
Thursday - possible leftovers or fish fingers, mash & beans
Friday - takeaway ( the curse of McD's monopoly promotion )
Saturday - lasagne & garlic bread
Sunday - will attempt a roast dinner this week

Until I get back into the swing of things I agree my choices are probably a bit predictable and boring. I am finding it hard cooking for just me and the little one because he never wants what I want and I don't always want what he wants.

I want to be cooking great food again but I always make too much, I always did when cooking for 3 and haven't learnt to reduce my portion sizes for 2 ( well one and a half, Squiggle is still only 4! ) Plus the enjoyment has gone, I honestly feel like I can't be bothered cooking some nights and only do it because I have another mouth in the house to feed.

Anyway enough with the self pity, if you want some inspiration and great recipe ideas then head on over to At Home With Mrs M .

Friday, 20 March 2015

Solar Eclipse 2015

In case you missed it, there was an eclipse of the sun this morning, not a total eclipse, well at least not here in Britain but it was a fairly good partial eclipse, certainly noticeable.

First I must explain how the eclipse worked from Squiggle's point of view. He proudly told his friend on his way into school this morning that there was going to an ecliff* and basically a giant alien spaceship was going to cover the sun and it was going to be the end of the world, but at 10 o'clock it would all be over and they could go outside and play!

I think he summed it up perfectly and I don't need to elaborate or correct him on anything he said!

His school was good, they gathered all the children in the school hall and let them watch the events unfold on a giant screen. I was half expecting to hear how Squiggle jumped up and shouted "it's the end of the world" but he behaved himself ( unless they're going to tell me otherwise on Monday! )

I myself watched the eclipse up at my local reservoir with a couple of friends. The water was perfectly still and there was a great reflection to watch it happen in.

Eclipse - on reflection!

It was quite eerie up there, it's nice and peaceful on the best of days but today there was a strange quietness about it. We did have a raised eyebrow experience when the eclipse peaked, the light dimmed ever so slightly, the temperature dropped, and a freezing cold gust of air came across the reservoir. Being fully grown sensible adults that we are, we did start to panic a little!

It's certainly something we'll remember in years to come, none of us had forgotten where we were for the last eclipse back in 1999.

Did you manage to get a glimpse of it?

*Squiggle did call it an ecliff, this is not a typo!

Monday, 16 March 2015

Happy Mother's Day

I had such a lovely Mother's Day yesterday, Squiggle spoilt me, and all by himself.

The last 3 Mother's Day have been ok, my mum had to buy me my first Mother's Day present because Mr H "forgot!" and then the last 2 years he has remembered but bought the first thing his eyes have seen in the supermarket without any thought whatsoever.

This year was different, Squiggle chose all the things himself. Firstly he was very apologetic as he couldn't find what I had asked for which was a cute snail plant holder in Asda, but bless him, he did make his dad drive round all the local stores trying to find one!

Instead he chose

a lovely pink tea rose

and a balloon

and a bag of Maltesers

He picked and wrote my card all by himself and couldn't stop wishing me a Happy Mother's Day. He told me he loved me countless times and even asked if I would marry him.

I am so glad I have brought my son up to be someone who actually thinks about presents he is going to buy, let's hope this carries on and one day he will make someone a very fine husband.

Meal Planning Monday - 16th March 2015

Well this is a novelty post - how long has it been since I decided to plan out my meals? far too long if you ask me, ( or 7 months if you want to be precise!) In fact I think the only meal that was planned in the last 7 months was Christmas dinner!

My son has started school since my last meal planning post and as he gets a free school dinner he rarely wants a full cooked tea when he gets home. I have since started dating again so there have been many takeaways and trips to the pub and sadly my poor waistline ( and bank balance ) has started to suffer from it all so I've decided enough is enough, I am jumping back on the meal planning and weight loss bandwagon.

I did make a conscious start last week and managed to plan a few meals in amongst parents evening and the weekend, but this week I am officially starting again.

So what's for tea?

Monday  - Stew & Dumplings
Tuesday - Grilled pepper beefsteaks
Wednesday - Spaghetti bolognaise
Thursday - night out
Friday - Stir Fry
Saturday - night out
Sunday - Roast dinner(??)

My Szechaun beef stir fry that I made last week
I am out on Thursday to the theatre with my grandma to watch Oklahoma and am contemplating a night out on Saturday to celebrate my upcoming birthday so Saturday tea and Sunday dinner is up in the air at the moment subject to alcohol consumption levels!

If you want some really good meal planning ideas then over to At Home With Mrs M and see what everyone else is planning.

I shall let you know how I get on with my plan next week.
Ta ta for now!

Monday, 2 February 2015

My right hand is better than yours!* a.k.a A day out at Britain's Got Talent.

Thursday meant my annual trip to the filming of Britain's Got Talent. I woke up to find the roads were covered with snow but that wasn't going to stop me. After dropping Squiggle off at school I set off on the 45 minute journey to Manchester.

2 and a half hours later I arrived safely in Salford and parked up at The Lowry Shopping Outlet. There was not a snowflake in sight! I headed towards The Lowry Theatre with excitement but intrepidation, were we going to have to queue up outside in the cold for hours on end on the off chance we would get a seat? No! Thankfully the staff were on hand to give out tickets this year with seat numbers on, so after a quick exchange of paperwork we had tickets in hand and a few hours to kill before the doors opened and filming began.

After a very quick mooch around the shops and the mandatory visit to the Cadbury store to stock up on some chocolate, we headed over the other side of the docks to Media City to have a quick look round there. Of course I had to check the T.A.R.D.I.S was still where I left it in the BBC reception area - one day I will be The Doctor ( well I might as well aim for the top job, I don't like being told what to do so being a companion just wouldn't suit me!)

Then as we headed back towards The Lowry, I noticed a sign for the Blue Peter Garden so decided to go and have a look at it. Now unless we didn't find the correct one, it was little more than a fishpond and a little bit underwhelming. I was expecting something on the larger side, a bit like what I remember seeing as a child when it was in London. Granted I haven't watched Blue Peter in over 20 odd years so I have no idea what they use the garden for nowadays and it might just have been the right one!

Next we passed time in the Imperial War Museum and we definitely want to go back as we were quite rushed and it was a very quick trip. There is quite a lot to take in, plenty of films to watch, displays to look at and information to read. There are replica tanks to look at and a dressing up area to recreate the look of the war. I would love to take Squiggle when he is a little bit older as I think he is too young still to understand what it's all about.

We finally made our way back to The Lowry Theatre and saw people were already queuing and being let inside, and by this time it had started to snow so we decided to go and join the queue and try to get in quickly. The queue was moving quite well until we got to the door and were promptly stopped by having a barrier put in front of us. Many people around us started whinging until it was pointed out that the judges were on their way, moaning quickly changed into excitement as it dawned on people that we were at the front of the queue, and in the best place to see them arrive! First to come was Amanda Holden who looked very cold in her very short dress, high heels and coat. She didn't hang around long and was soon escorted inside. Next to arrive was the lovely David Walliams, and bless him, he took about 15 minutes to get fromt he car to the door - why?, because he went and met his fans. he took the time to have photographs taken and shake hands with the public, and this is why my right hand is better than yours, because David Walliams shook it! Yes I managed to get a full blog post out of that one random fact, but believe me it was worth it, I'm not normally one to get star struck but by golly I haven't shut up about it since!

It's David Walliams!

We didn't get to see or meet Simon Cowell or Alesha Dixon as we were hurried inside shortly after David, but I don't think I'd be as hyper about meeting them as I was him ( no offence meant to Simon or Alesha ) We did get to see them along with Ant & Dec on stage once we were sat down, but there wasn't much interaction with the audience this year as in previous years.

Anyway the talents came on, did their bit and either got booted off or sent through to the next round. I'm not going to spoil it for you by telling you what acts we saw or how they did, you shall just have to wait for it to come on telly.

*unless of course your right hand has shaken hands with other famous people!