Friday, 16 December 2016

My Favourite Christmas films

I love Christmas, I would be quite happy to keep my decorations up all year round, have the flashing lights on outside the house and watch a Christmas film at least once a day. Supposedly it's bad luck to keep the tree up longer than Twelfth Night, and as I need all the luck I can get, I don't want to risk it, but at least I can indulge in my secret passion of watching Christmas films all through the year, and no one will know about it .... well that is until now!

Scrooged, The Snowman, Santa Claus
Our elves showing off their favourite films
The main Christmas film that is a must see is Santa Claus: The Movie, it must have been the first ever Christmas film that I saw, and no Christmas is complete without having watched it. This is the film I grew up with, and David Huddleston will always be my Santa Claus.

That said, I do rather like Tim Allen in The Santa Clause and he also stars in Christmas with the Kranks. A comedy film about a couple who decide to skip Christmas and go on holiday until their daughter announces that she is coming home with her boyfriend to spend Christmas with them. Cue lots of fun and mayhem as they rally around to get the house decorated and get hold of the last Hickory honey ham in town. ( I can totally relate to this as I usually leave it till the last minute to go and buy a Christmas ham )

Of course Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without a musical, and so next on my list is The Muppet Christmas Carol. Michael Caine is wonderful as Ebeneezer Scrooge, Kermit makes a great Bob Cratchit and Gonzo does a brilliant job of narrating. All the favourite Muppets are in there.

Speaking of A Christmas Carol, I have to include Scrooged, a 1980's take on the classic story. Bill Murray stars as the heartless boss who is visited by the three Christmas Ghosts ( minus Slimer and the proton packs of course!*) to show him the error of his ways.

Jingle All The Way sees Arnold Schwarzenegger rushing around trying to find the one present his son wanted for Christmas, but that he forgot to buy.

My last family friendly favourite is The Snowman, every year without fail we have to watch this, and every year I secretly hope for a different ending.

When I get time to myself, then I do like to watch something Christmassy that isn't PG rated,

I love Bad Santa, Billy Bob Thornton as a small town crook trying to rob a department store. Lots of swearing, lots of drunkeness, and one to definitely watch whilst the kids are in bed!

Lastly on my list are two of the non conventional Christmas films, Gremlins and Die Hard. Although one is about strange little creatures that like to maime and attack people, and the other is an all action blow shit up and kill a few people whilst you're at it sort of film, both are set around Christmas so they are Christmas films ( not like Frozen which is actually set in Summer, and creates a whole separate debate about Christmas films but I'm not going there, not today anyway! )

*a small nod to Ghostbusters
** This post contains an Amazon affiliate link

Do you have a favourite Christmas film? why not share your stories below.

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

She's shrunk in her old age ( A.K.A Kids say the funniest things part 5 )

Oh my goodness, it's been over 2 years since I last posted an episode of "kids say the funniest things", so I think it's about time I shared a few more with you.

Like the time when I was filling in Squiggle's reward chart, I asked him if he had been good, and he said yes mummy up until the point I wasn't....... I couldn't argue with that!

Or the time he asked for sanitary towels so he could go on stage, just because an advert said he needed them... I'm so glad the old tampon advert isn't still on, because he would be thinking he needed some of them to go roller skating!

Then there was the random conversation whilst we were watching an episode of 'Are You Being Served?' about why Captain Peacock was called Captain Peacock when he wasn't a peacock, I said I didn't know to which Squiggle replied oh OK, well I've got sweaty balls! and walked away - my friend and I just sat bewildered, WTF goes through my child's mind?

It gets worse, one day he grabbed a pillow and a blanket and set about making a bed on the floor, I asked if he was going to have a little sleep, do you know what he said? - well I'll tell you - he said "I'm not going to sleep, I'm just lying on the floor to look at the cats bum!" why?, just why?. I just walked away and left him to it.

It's no wonder I walk around feeling like I'm in some sort of Twilight Zone, when this is what I have to deal with. I don't know where he gets half of the stuff he says from, my mum and grandma are convinced Squiggle has been here before. That doesn't mean that they get let off with Squiggle's thoughts, oh no, he's even given The Granny a great deal of thought - I've been thinking, aliens grow really tall when they get old, and humans get smaller. So Great Grandma must be a human because she's shrunk in her old age!

As usual, please feel free to post your own "kids say the funniest" story below, I love to hear what other children are saying.

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

366 Day Penny Challenge: 300 days update

The trouble with writing scheduled blog posts is that you never really know what will happen in the mean time.
I had started to write this post on Monday 17th October, all ready to be scheduled and posted live today - 26th October, but I've got good news and bad news.

The good news is pretty much what I had written in the next paragraph.

We are getting so near to the end of the year and to the end of the challenge, I must admit I have really enjoyed doing it. If you can remember from my last post I said I had fallen behind with making payments into my 366 Day Penny Challenge jar, but I have made it up and am well on target to saving £671.61.

After a quick tot up, I now have the grand total of £451.50

365 366 day penny saving challenge

The bad news is that since writing this post last week, my poor car had a rather nasty malfunction. The power steering went, and of course being my car it wasn't going to be a simple quick fix, oh no, it's always the worst case scenario where I'm concerned. The whole steering rack needed to be replaced, luckily my garage did get it fixed and back on the same road within a day, but I've had to use my saved up money to cover the cost.

So my 366 Day Penny Challenge jar is now looking sadly empty, however there are still 66 days left till the end of the year, and I will continue to save as I have been doing, so I reckon I should still have a good saving by the new year.

How are you all getting on? Are you still saving or have you decided you couldn't be bothered anymore and already spent the money? Or have you had to use it for an emergency like me? Let me know in the comments below.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

#MealPlanningMonday - 24th October 2016

The nights are drawing in and there's definitely an Autumn chill in the air, so I think it's time to start making hearty stews, cottage and shepherds pies, broth and dumplings, toad in the hole and all those sorts of comfort foods.

I actually like this time of year for food and cooking, mainly because I can chuck everything in my slow cooker and leave it. It's also a good time to get Squiggle to eat different things because I can hide them in a stew and he never notices.

So this week, we shall be having

  • My mince & mash - I usually chuck whatever veggies I have, (usually a carrot, parsnip and some onion) in the pot and slow cook with the mince all day, add some gravy granules towards the end and hey presto.
  • Fish fingers, mash and beans
  • pizza
  • spaghetti on toast
  • chicken & butternut squash risotto
Not sure what I'm going to do next week as it's half term and Squiggle is off to his dad for the week, I may try and freeze a portion of what I make this week and then I can just zap it in the microwave. 

Hope you all have a great week,

Thanks for reading.

Monday, 15 August 2016

#MealPlanningMonday - 15th August 2016

Yet again my meal planning plans have gone astray, the school holidays have really messed my daily routine up, and Squiggle's tantrums don't help as he usually gets sent to bed in the afternoon and sometimes doesn't wake up.

We're hopefully going away in a few weeks so ideally I would like to just eat what's in the cupboards, and freezer and then I can start afresh when we're back. Plus I really need to defrost the freezer as I think they're is probably more ice than food in there at the moment!

So after having a rummage through the cupboards it looks like we're eating this lot, this week.

  • Fish fingers, waffles, peas
  • Burgers, potato croquet, beans
  • Lemon tempura battered fish fillets
  • Homemade lasagna
  • Cottage Pie
  • Vegetable omelette
  • Roast dinner, with lots of veggies
I've also half a dozen packs of noodles so they'll be used up at dinner time and the rest of the eggs will be used in some baking.

Hope you all have a great week, please leave me a comment and let me know what your plans are.

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Tempers, Tantrums and Tears

Three weeks into the school holidays and I've started to question my own sanity, method and morals. Squiggle has turned into a nightmare child, he wakes up bright and breezy and all cute and loving but then as the day goes on he turns into a bad tempered, angry, rude stroppy little stress head, and I just don't know what to do anymore.

I appreciate that no child likes shopping, but when the child asks to go to a store to buy a toy and then kicks off in the store saying they don't like shopping, what are you supposed to do?
Today Squiggle wanted to go and spend a voucher in Toys R Us, so I took him ( along with backup - my mum and grandma, it was a family day out ). Of course he wanted to buy everything he saw, and couldn't make his mind up between Pokemon, Turtles, Star Wars, Lego, Hot Wheels, Hexbugs, everything he looked at came with the usual cry of "I WANT IT, I WANT IT!".  We managed to narrow the choices down to one or two that were within his budget and explained that the dearer ones would need to come from Father Christmas which Squiggle seemed to understand, but then all of a sudden he snapped, and started throwing himself on the floor and crying that he hated shopping and that we were all mean by taking him to the toy shop.
This continued as we headed to the car and came home..

Another day he had an outburst in another shop and was consequently frog marched from the store screaming and crying, whilst everyone looked on at us.
Now I must stress that I don't really care what strangers think of me when Squiggle is having an outburst, but it really bothers me when he does in front of people we know. He once had a major meltdown after school and laid himself on the pavement so that parents had to step over him to get home.
I've been told that it is my fault for being too soft on him in his earlier years ( he's only 6 btw ) and that I've let him get away with things for too long, it's true, I admit I've done that in the past, but when you're in constant agony and pain, sometimes it is easier to say yes just to keep the peace, but now I just don't know what I'm doing wrong. He gets sent to bed when naughty, has his toys confiscated and is grounded from playing out, but yet he never seems to learn. The only thing I haven't done is smack him, should I be considering doing this?
I don't know how strict his dad is when he goes to visit and do notice a difference when he comes back ( this is when he's at his worse ).
I guess I just want someone to either tell me it's all ok and this is a normal phase that he is going through or advise me on what to do.
Is there anyone out there that can help me?

Friday, 1 July 2016

366 Day Penny Challenge: Half way Update

Can you believe it's the first of July today, that's the 183rd day of the year which means we are already half way through 2016 and more importantly half way through the penny saving challenge, and, well, truth be told, my penny pot isn't as full as it should be. I went away on holiday back in April and the pot has been somewhat neglected since then. I have still been contributing to it every now and then, I just haven't been doing it on a daily basis but I guess more importantly I haven't taken anything out of it.

I've already spent the money in my mind on a brand new pair of Irregular Choice shoesand a Merlin family pass to take Squiggle on some days out next year, and hopefully I should have some leftover for something else, but you never know, my shopping list might change before the end of the year.

But before then, I need to stash the cash and get back on track.

If you've been doing it properly you should have £168.36 saved by now.

266 365 Day Penny Challenge

Keep up the good work!

*This post contains an affiliate link

Monday, 27 June 2016

#MealPlanningMonday - 27th June 2016

Last week I didn't bother with meal planning, I was too poorly. I started feeling a bit off on Sunday night so went to bed early, but then woke up on Monday to find my stomach had swollen to twice its normal size, I'm fat to start off with so you can only imagine my horror at waking to looking like I'd swallowed a beach ball in my sleep! I couldn't roll one way or another to get out of bed. Luckily Squiggle had stayed at his dad's house for Father's Day so I didn't have to panic about trying to do the school run. I initially put it down to bloating from my IBS but by Wednesday it still hadn't cleared and a trip to the doctors was needed. They confirmed I had an infection and gave me a course of antibiotics. It took 4 more days for the swelling to go down. Yesterday I finally looked like my normal self and actually started to feel a bit better.

So last week we just ate basic, simple food, that didn't require much cooking and I will admit to a takeaway or two. This week we're hopefully going to get back on track. Also this week I will be trying to kick start a diet of some description ( mainly from the horror of swelling to twice my size, and also because I have a school reunion coming up in August ). I'm thinking of just ditching the sandwiches at dinner time and filling up on salads as I always feel hungry again after eating bread!

Anyway the plan for this week is:

  • Lamb, mash & peas
  • Chilli con carne and rice
  • Jacket potatoes with either cheese, beans or coleslaw
  • Chicken Fajitas
  • Thai curry
Hope you are all keeping well, and have a great week. x

Friday, 17 June 2016

My 5 quick fixes to a tidier home

I hate cleaning, so I know I'm never going to win the Housewife of the Year award, my house is cluttered with odds and sods, I'll admit to moving the mess around to dust and vacuum and then moving the mess back but at least I know it's clean.

So I'm going to share my top 5 tips for a quick fix when guests announce they will be popping over. These tips don't work if they land on your doorstep, you do need a good 5 - 10 minutes notice!

1. Vacuum 
A clean carpet can make a great difference to a somewhat cluttered room, it makes it look and smell cleaner than it actually might be.

2. Dust
Quickly dust the focal points in the room. The area by the TV is my main dust collecting area, it needs doing every day, sometimes twice, also do the mantel piece and the edges of any mirrors.

3. Box it
If you have time, grab a box and put the clutter in it, then hide the box in another room - preferably one that your guests won't be going near, such as your own bedroom or the pantry.

4. Cover it up
Throws and blankets are brilliant, I shove everything into a corner and then put a blanket over it, I then pass it off as Squiggles den!

5. Dim the lights
If all else fails and your visitors are coming at night, then turn off your lights, use candles to create a calming and peaceful ambiance, after all if it's dark, you can't see the mess!

So these are my quick fixes, what are yours?

Monday, 13 June 2016

#MealPlanningMonday - 13th June 2016

What a difference a day makes, and a week makes even more difference, who would have thought this time last week we were sitting in the garden eating a barbecue in the glorious sunshine, tonight, we're huddled up inside trying to get dry after getting soaked in the rain.

Despite all the wet weather I've had a really good week in the garden pulling out the weeds, phew, I need a trailer to get rid of them all now, there's bags and bags of weeds piled up everywhere!

Looking at the weather today, I think it's going to be another damp and wet week, so I'll need to keep on top of those pesky weeds so will be needing some good food to eat.

This weeks menu will consist of:
  • Pesto pasta and sun dried tomatoes
  • Lamb steaks with mash and peas
  • Spinach and ricotta cannelloni
  • Bangers and mash or toad in the hole
  • Spaghetti bolognaise
Have fun folks, whatever you're up to.

Monday, 6 June 2016

#MealPlanningMonday - 6th June 2016

Phew it's been a scorcher today and I don't know about you but when it's hot, food and eating is the last thing on my mind and so is cooking. I eat a lot less when it's nice weather, I seem to fill up more on water and cold drinks instead.

sausages burgers disposable BBQ barbecueIf it's going to be like this all week, then we shall probably just end up eating salad every night. However tonight, we had a little barbecue in the garden. I bought one of the small disposable barbecues and set it up on my old cast iron table. We had a lovely time sitting out in the sun cooking burgers and sausages on the table.

Squiggle loved it, he prefers alfresco dining when the sun is shining and is quite happy to sit down and eat, which is a contrast to when we sit inside and meal times become a battle. He just doesn't want to sit still, I honestly don't know where he gets his energy from, it's certainly not from his parents!

Anyway I digress, my meal plan for this week is either going to be salad, salad and more salad, but there will be a contingency plan in case of wet or colder weather.

  • Lasagne and garlic bread
  • Mexican fajitas
  • Cheesey pizza
  • Fish fingers and mash
  • Chicken Tikka Masala
I hope you all get to make the most of the weather, have a good week and enjoy x

Monday, 4 April 2016

Meal Planning Monday - 4th April 2016

Oh wow, what a horrendous month March was, both myself and Squiggle have been struck with numerous bugs, coughs, colds and fevers, most of the month was spent in bed or on the settee fast asleep, ( hence why very little posts last month ) neither of us have felt like eating much and when we have it's been quick and crap, so basically lots of takeaways and burgers and microwave rubbish.

Somehow we both managed to get well enough for one day just to celebrate our birthdays - I am now the grand old age of 22* and Squiggle is now 6 - where has the time gone?

This weekend we have been feeling better so it's back so some sort of normality. We have a holiday coming up shortly so I think it's time to eat up what we already have and then we can have a proper frsh start when we get back.

So after looking in the freezer and cupboards this week we shall be having:

Chicken dippers/kievs with smiley potato stars
Chilli con carne
Eggs ( not the chocolate ones ) either scrambled, omlette or fried
Fish fingers
Macaroni cheese

As usual this is post is in conjuction with Mrs M's Meal Planning Monday linky, for great meal ideas click here.

*I told Squiggle I was 21 last year and even though he now knows the truth he tells everyone I am only 22!

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

366 Day Penny Challenge: 90 day update

Look at that, we're nearly a quarter of the way through the year, how's everyone doing with the penny saving challenge, anyone given up yet? I'm still persevering with it although I have been tempted a couple of times to "borrow" out of my jar to pay the window cleaner! But I haven't, I will not touch it until the end of the year!

My jar is looking quite full with £40.95 already saved. I think it's time to try and copper up and deposit some of it into the bank to remove the temptation of dipping into it.

Keep going readers, it will be worth it in the end.

365 Day Penny Challenge Day 90

Friday, 18 March 2016

National Awkward Moments Day

Barely a day goes by where I don't say or do anything or be involved with something awkward, so I was so glad to learn that today is National Awkward Moments Day, so I can celebrate myself and all my awkward moments!

I could write a book about my awkward moments, but this is the future, and in the future, we write blogs. So I did and now I want to revisit some of my old blog posts and highlight my favourite awkward moments.

 There's the times where I turn up wearing the same clothes as my friends, my boss or just complete strangers at a wedding.

Then there's the awkward moments created by my son just by asking or saying the most "innocent things" at the most inappropriate time.

It doesn't matter whether I am in a supermarket, or at a funeral, awkward moments have a habit of finding me.

These are just some of the awkward moments I have written about, there's still time to be caught off guard with my skirt tucked in my knickers, or walking around with toilet paper stuck to my shoe, or even sneezing and farting at the same time whilst sat in the dining room of a B&B in Great Yarmouth, now that was awkward, but that story is for another day.

Do you care to share any of your awkward moment stories?

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

366 Day Penny Challenge: 60 days update

How many of you shared a post or tweeted about the 366 Day Penny Challenge just after Christmas? How many said you were going to do it?
How many of you started?
and how many of you have carried on?

Hands up!

Well if you are taking part in the challenge, and have been persistent with saving the pennies, then I'm happy to say you should have a nice little £18.30 saved by now.

money saving ideas

Well done and keep going.

Monday, 29 February 2016

#MealPlanningMonday - 29th February 2016

So I've just posted this about my battle with a low fibre diet and how I've gained weight, and now I'm contemplating scrapping it and just eating what I want and suffering with the consequences of my IBS. Big decision, eat what I fancy, crap myself but stay slimmer or eat what I'm told, not crap myself but get fat!

Well this week the diet/menu planning is sort of out of my hands. Those great guys at Bzz Agent are running a campaign with OXO, so I have a great cook book and OXO stock pots to work with this week.

My favourite choices out of the book are:
Mushroom stroganoff
Pork cider & apple stew*
Rigatoni with quick cook ragu

and then I'll do some of the simpler things like
fish fingers
spaghetti & meatballs

I'm only planning 6 meals as it's Mothers Day on Sunday, and I'm hoping Squiggle is going to take me out for a lovely meal and shower me with love, bear in mind he's nearly 6 years old so it will probably be a trip to the golden arches, but so long as I'm with him I don't care where we dine!

As usual this post is linked up with Mrs M and all the other Meal Planners.

Have a great week everyone!

*OK, call me weird, I can eat bacon, sausages, gammon and ham but pork makes me poorly, so I'll be swapping the pork for gammon!

Low fibre diets are not for me

Hello, hello, hello, I'm still here and still on the low fibre diet, but my word have I suffered these last few weeks. I have had absolutely no get up and go, I've found myself wanting to sleep all the time and since starting out on it 8 weeks ago, I've gained a whopping 20lbs in weight!

I'll be seeing the dietitian again this week and will be demanding a weight loss plan. I'm currently stuck between a rock and a hard place, yes the low fibre diet has eased ( not cleared ) my I.B.S symptoms but has done so at the detriment to my weight and general well being. Personally I think I'd rather have the problems before the diet rather than what I'm contending with now.

I've done some research into low fibre diets and the main negative issue is weight gain, which with further research is caused by overeating due to not feeling full because of the lack of fibre. This is certainly true of me, I've never felt as constantly hungry and ready to eat my own body weight in food as I have done lately.

I know winter plays a part in the struggles of diet and weight loss as it is human nature to keep warm when cold and what better way than by keeping and storing body fat. So in winter we do tend to eat and indulge in comforting stodgy foods.

So what now? Well I am going for a review with the dietitian this week so hopefully we can sort out the eating side, and I'm hoping that we will get an early spring ( or at least a warmer end to winter ) so I can get out running again. If not I am seriously considering reliving my Mad March Marathon and getting the old exercise bike out and peddling 26 miles a day. I have a few hours to sleep on the matter before March starts tomorrow!

Watch this space.

Monday, 15 February 2016

Come Round with Brioche Pasquier #MacaronManicure Party

This weekend saw both Valentine's Day and the lesser known Galentine's Day, the day before Valentine's Day when the girls are supposed to get together and celebrate their love and friendship for each other.  I must admit I knew nothing of this day but when Come Round asked me to hold a Brioche Pasquier #MacaronManicure party I jumped at the chance of having the girls round.

I received a large box of goodies for the party including balloons, banners and napkins along with lovely little manicure items, nail scissors, emery boards, nail varnish and bags for my guests to take home afterwards and most importantly the Brioche Pasquier Macarons.

Brioche Pasquier Macaron

They came frozen but defrosted nicely in the fridge, I must admit I did try one straight from the fridge and it didn't taste of anything, but once they'd been on the plate for a few minutes the flavours really did start to come through.

They come in a choice of 6 flavours, vanilla, coffee, lemon, chocolate, pistachio, and raspberry which coincidentally was the same colours as the nail varnish!


Brioche Pasquier macarons are currently available from Ocado at £12.99 for 36, so that's just 36p each for a delicious macaron.

 Everybody enjoyed painting their nails and eating macarons ( even the boys! ) Everyone had their own favourite flavour and equally unfavourite flavour ( the coffee one created a debate ).
I really liked the green pistachio ones and managed to nab the last one!

I think I will buy a box of macarons in the future when I'm in the mood for a classy party, they go well with either a cup of tea or a glass of wine!

Disclosure: I received a party pack containing Brioche Pasquier Macarons and manicure items in exchange for this review. All words and pictures are my own.

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Laser Quest Preston

Last night Squiggle, myself and a friend were invited to the press launch night at Laser Quest Preston.

The PR Bit!
It has now been open since the end of January and is marketing itself as the ultimate sci-fi action adventure for all ages.

Whether you are 6 or 66 the venue offers an adrenaline pumping experience as you chase your opponents around the Laser Quest labyrinth which is filled with smoke, lights and great music.

Each player is kitted out with a futuristic body pack and a laser gun. You score points for hitting your target but lose points if anyone hits you.

The games can played as a team game or solo with every man, woman and child fending for themselves.

Games last 20 minutes and every player receives a scorecard at the end with details of where they scored and lost points.

Childrens parties can be booked for kids aged over 6, each party includes 2 action packed games of Laser Quest, food, party bags, unlimited squash, use of the partyzone. and free gifts for the birthday boy/girl.

Our Opinion
We were taken into a side room and shown a short video about how the laser packs worked and the rules of play and then led into another room where we put on our body packs. The teams were split into 2, the red team and the blue team, we were told to go into the area smoke poured in, disco lights were flashing, the music was cranked up and then the game began. Squiggle was apprehensive at first and stuck close to me, but soon got the hang of the game and was quickly off on his own shooting at anything that moved. There were lots of good hiding places and advantage points to shoot and score points from. The Call of Duty girl inside me came out a little bit and I think given the chance I would have been rolling on the floor and leaping over walls, but that wasn't allowed!
As soon as it was over Squiggle wanted to go again - he loved it. He wasn't on his own, I loved it, and my friend loved it. After a short break for refreshments we went in again, and Squiggle was off like a pro!

For more details visit

or visit them at

Unit 1B, Aqueduct Mill, Aqueduct Street, Preston, PR7JN

Disclaimer: We were invited to Laser Quest Preston and took part in 2 games in exchange for this review.

Sunday, 31 January 2016

Review: Sure Compressed Challenge

As you may already be aware I am a BzzAgent, and before Christmas they kindly asked me to take part in the Sure Compressed Challenge.

If you're aren't already aware there is a range of new smaller cans of deodorant in the shops, and the challenge was to see if they lasted just as long as the full size cans.

Sure compressed deodorants squeeze the same amount of protection into smaller cans - using 50% less gas and 25% less packaging. They claim they will last just as long and work just as well as the full size cans.

I was sent a Sure Cotton Dry 250ml can and Sure Compressed Cotton Dry 125ml can. The challenge was to use them both at the same time, one under each armpit and to see if they both provided the same level of protection and if they both lasted the same length of time.

My first impressions were that the fragrance was nice and both cans kept me dry all day. There was a difference between the spray head on both the cans and I felt that the larger can was easier to use as it didn't require much pressure on the spray. The smaller can needs more pressure to get the spray to work and having arthritis in my hands and fingers I did find the smaller can harder to use.

Although both cans provided me with the same level of protection, I felt the deodorant from the large can went on better as the smaller can left me with a lot of white powder residue which then rubbed off onto my clothes and left me with streaky white marks.

Up until this point I was convinced that Sure Compressed just wasn't as good as the standard size cans and my feelings weren't changed by the time I reached the end of the challenge, which incidentally was a whole week after the Sure Compressed deodorant had run out. Yes, the standard size can had lasted longer.

I won't be switching to buying the Sure Compressed on a regular basis but due to the size it does make a handy addition to my handbag when on a girls night out.

Disclosure: As a BzzAgent I was given a 250ml full size can and 125ml compressed can of deodorant to carry out the challenge.

Monday, 25 January 2016

#MealPlanningMonday - 25th January 2016

I'm having jam!

After 2 weeks of being on a restricted fibre diet I am allowed to reintroduce something back into my diet this week, and I choose jam. Not the smooth kind, oh no, but the 'jam' packed full of fruit jam. I love blackcurrant jam and it tasted so good on my crumpets this morning, and best of all, I've had no IBS symptoms today, so maybe I do need to stick to it and persevere. I am going to have a look at some of the foodstuffs on my 'allowed' list just in case they are the culprits. I did keep a food diary and did pinpoint one or two things that set me off but there are other foodstuffs out to get me!

So sticking with the bland boring low fibre diet my menu options this week are:

lemon cod fillets & skinless potatoes
steak & chips
chicken, cauliflower & broccoli
pesto pizza
stir fry chicken - I'll have to have it with no veg, so chicken & noodles then!
pasta bake
roast dinner where I may consider a carrot!

I still feel lethargic and have started taking a multivitamin tablet as I don't think I am getting quite enough nutrients, I do seem to be lacking iron in my diet because green leafy vegetables are off the menu for the time being. So I will have to see how I get on this week. I also need to start exercising and getting out more but the weather has been terrible. Although I did feel quite good after sledging with Squiggle last weekend, maybe I need it to snow more ( Please don't hate me for saying that! )

As usual this post is part of the Meal Planning linky by At Home With Mrs M, go and visit for more meal planning ideas or to join in.

Have a great week!

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

#MealPlanningMonday - 18th January 2016

I'm a little late in posting this this week, I've debated whether or not there was actually any point whilst I'm trialing a low fibre diet as I am just so uninspired as to what to make.

Last week I said I was embarking on a low fibre diet to try and help my IBS, Oh my goodness it's had such a negative impact on my body. I personally don't think it's made any difference to my IBS, but I have noticed that I've no energy, I'm tired all the time and have even ended up having to take an afternoon nap. I caved in at the weekend and had a plate full of forbidden veggies with a roast dinner, granted my stomach didn't agree with it but I felt heaps better the morning after,

I've to keep myself restricted again this week and then next week I can slowly introduce something back into my diet and see how it goes.

So again this week my menu is going to be a little uninspiring. There's going to be lots of mashed potato or waffles, some meat or fish and a small piece of cauliflower and broccoli. My cupboard is now stocked with tins of fruit for pudding and not with baked beans!

plain cheese pizza
fish and mash
chicken, broccoli and cauliflower
fish fingers and waffles ( with beans for Squiggle! )
pasta bake

Roll on next week so I can put something back on my plate, but where to start, beans? , sweetcorn?, parsnips?

Oh stop thinking about food and get through this week first!

For inspiration or to join in with meal planning, pop along to Mrs M and see what's cooking.

Monday, 11 January 2016

#MealPlanningMonday - 11th January 2016

Well here we are 11 days into 2016 and nearly half the month of January gone already!

I had all good intentions of an easy healthy diet this year, however a trip to see the dietitian last week has made things slightly harder. I suffer from I.B.S and medication hasn't helped so my next step is try a low fibre diet. I can cope with having to eat white bread, cheese, white rice, crumpets, potato waffles, cream crackers, mayonnaise, fizzy drinks and alcohol, but I can't cope with not being allowed to eat apples, pears, peaches, oranges, prunes, raisins, cabbage, spinach, Brussels sprouts, parsnips, mushrooms, sweetcorn, raw carrots, baked beans, sweet potato, coleslaw, fruit jam, peanuts.......argh the list goes on and on.

So out goes my sweet potato and chicken stew, parsnip soup, beans on toast, jam on toast, peanut butter on toast, Snickers bar ( although I suppose I could suffer a Mars bar, it's like a Snickers but without the nuts! )

Shopping is going to be interesting, no more reaching for food without thinking about it, I am going to have scrutinize everything for the fibre content.

So my menu is subject to change in case I have picked something I shouldn't be having but so far it looks like this.

Chicken with broccoli and boiled carrots ( these are allowed )
Pasta bake
Gammon with mash, cauliflower and broccoli
fish fingers and potato waffles ( no beans for me! )
cheese on toast ( still allowed tomato sauce on, black pepper is to be used with caution )

So this is my first draft at the menu, it is quite hard thinking what to have especially as my vegetable choices are limited.
I am allowed a variety of canned fruit as apparently the fibre has started to break down so isn't as high as in fresh fruit* so I may look into making smoothies as I'm not sure my body will cope with all the white bread, pasta and lack of vegetation!

For more mouth watering recipes, head over to Mrs M to see what else is cooking.

*This is what my dietitian told me

Sunday, 10 January 2016

The Age Of Loneliness

Did anyone catch The Age of Loneliness on BBC One on Thursday night?

People from all walks of life talked about their own experience of feeling lonely. It wasn't all about single people, or all about elderly people ( they did feature in the programme ) but it included people who felt lonely even though they were surrounded by other people and this is what hit me.

courtesy of Lonely 
I had never really given it much thought prior to watching this programme but during it a thought dawned on me. I suffer from loneliness, and have for quite some time. I can recall certain periods in my life which haven't helped matters. Firstly I moved away from my friends and family when I met Mr Homer, I moved 120 miles away to live with him, and even though I had a great job and actually have Birmingham ancestry in my blood, I just didn't fit in. I was that weird Northerner stuck in The Midlands. Thankfully Mr H. agreed to move back up north with me.
But things didn't really change, my friends that I had left behind had all moved on and got new friends, and even though I had managed to get an internal transfer with work, I was now that weirdo from Lancashire working over in Yorkshire! Having an hours commute at both ends of the day didn't help matters as I couldn't really stay for long after work to socialise so when I did stay, I just felt awkward.

My next major period of loneliness was after the birth of Squiggle when I was in hospital for 9 months. I spent the first 8 weeks in intensive care in an isolation room, my only company was for a few hours a day when my family visited, or when the nurses came to give me my medication or change my dressings. Things didn't get much better when I was moved onto a regular ward, I was still put into a single bed room with no contact with anyone apart from visiting time, feeding time, toilet time you get the idea. After 5 months I was moved into a 4 bed ward as the nurses thought I could use some company, by then I just didn't want to be around anyone. I was still so poorly and still bedridden when I was finally allowed home just before Christmas in 2010. I spent the days on my own with the occasional visit from my grandma, Mr H still had to go to work and Squiggle was given to my family to look after so I was home alone every day.

courtesy of Lonely Teddy
Now that I am back to better health I do get out and about more, I've made new friends and  have rebuilt some of the friendships with my older friends but I do still have moments of feeling lonely.

I think I always will.

Silent Sunday - 10th January 2016

Monday, 4 January 2016

366 Day Penny Challenge: How to save £671.61

Do you struggle saving money?

Do you want an easy way to save £671.61 this year?

Then why not join me in the 366 Day Penny Challenge. It would normally be the 365 Day Penny Challenge but we are in a leap year this year in case you hadn't noticed.

It's quite simple, starting on day one put 1p in a jar, then day two put 2p in the jar, day three put 3p in the jar and so on until the end of the challenge which would be day 366 and £3.66 would be put in the jar. At the end of a year there would be £671.61 in the jar.

I have already started this and realised one major flaw to the system which is that come Christmastime I will be putting quite a bit in the jar every day, so I am going to do it arse about tit and put whatever I have left in my purse at the end of the day into my jar. I have printed off the chart, and every time I put an amount in the jar it gets ticked off. I think it will make it easier as obviously the days I have more pennies in my purse I can tick off the higher amounts and on the skint days I'll only need to find a few pence.

Fancy joining me?

Then you'll need these 3 simple things

  • A jar or moneybox
  • Money
  • Chart/tracker so you know what amount to put in.