Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween! Much fun was had at the Ross' Halloween Party on Friday, and a quiet weekend ensued, which was greatly welcomed. Have to say that I am not loving X Factor this year, really can't warm to any of the acts or the judges - so for me it is all about Strictly! We are all fans here, and are hoping Holly Valance (and the lovely Artem) walk away with the glitter ball this year.

Some things that I am loving at the moment are Laura Ashley's Jasmine and Fresh Linen fragrance sticks (they are beautifully scenting my downstairs loo) and H&M's nail varnish in Nerd (a nudy pale beige) such a bargain at £2.99 and has much better staying power than a similar one that I have by MAC.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Halloween is nearly here, one of my favourite times of the year. I love the dark evenings drawing in, the cozy fires, wrapping up warm, the dressing up, the pumpkins, the sparklers, well baked jacket potatoes, homemade soup, hot dogs and the general fun and nonsense of it all. Each year we go to Janet and Matt's for a party and this year is happily no exception! The kids all have a ball, everyone makes a huge effort and we always make sure that the party goes on well in to the evening with food and fireworks, and the odd glass of wine or 3.

I have carved my pumpkin this afternoon and it is all ready to take along to the party with us. Here it is next to my Halloweeny flowers;

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Zach had his first taster session at his new nursery today, he was up at 5am anticipating it!! After the initial excitement there were a couple of tears but they dried up the moment I drove out of the car park and he had a super session. Phew, there is nothing more heart wrenching than leaving a howling child at child care and having to leave someone else to comfort them. The lovely thing about Pirbright Day Nursery is that 3 of the staff there (out of the 6) are the same staff who looked after Teya from 2 years old! Considering the usual churn at nursery schools I think that statistic is hugely impressive. The fact that it is next door to the school is also a huge bonus for me, it makes the transition up to big school even easier for them.

Also this morning, after a few fights with the horrendous website, I have managed to book our tickets to see Santa at the Selfridges Winder Wonderland. We are going up on Tuesday 22nd December with Saf, Ram and their kids and we will make an afternoon of it, taking in the lights and the general atmosphere of London at Christmas time. Countdown has truly begun!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Half term is here! Was lovely having a leisurely morning, we didn't get out of our pj's until gone 10am, bliss.. Today is going to be a quiet one and the kids are off to Granny and Granddad's again this evening as we are hosting our Italian Evening at home later. Matt (cousin) is coming down from Leeds and Steve, David and Amy are also coming over for an Italian night, a reunion from our holiday which was 2 months ago! So, my menu is as follows;

Bruschetta with peppers and goat's cheese

Spaghetti Carbonara

Scallopini di Pollo with mini baked garlic potatoes, fine green beans and arrabiata sauce


I am making everything from scratch, except for the profiteroles, I can't be doing with the stress of choux pastry! Really looking forward to it, we also have some Corini wine to accompany and of course prosecco for aperativo. Happy weekend everyone xx

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Finally got home from Glasgow at 11.30 last night - had been stuck at the airport since 1.30pm too so was rather shattered to say the least. Still home safe, successful presentation given, and the CAM roadshow has now moved on to Manchester, and I am back working at my kitchen table. All is well. So, after all of my jet setting, I wanted to share a few things that I have learned over the past week;

1) Having to leave your family at the weekend, for work, really sucks
2) It is possible to cook a full roast dinner in under an hour
3) If you drive in to the back of a fiat punto at approx 3 mph, which, as a result hits a vauxhall insignia - the fiat will crumple
4) BA only fly from Gatwick North, not South
5) The assistants at the Valet parking at Gatwick are very kind and helpful
6) It is illegal to drive without a front number plate and could lead to a £60 fine (happily this didn't happen, the fine that is - the missing plate did - see point 3)
7) If a stranger on a plane asks me whether I am scared of flying, I will irrationally burst in to tears! Cue a crowd of air hostesses around me and everyone trying to reassure me that despite the turbulence, we were not all about to plummet to our death. God the shame. I blame tiredness.

It has been quite an eventful time!! Happily my crash wasn't bad, but it was sadly all my fault - I saw the lights change, the two in front weren't in such a hurry.. result = nice insurance claim and having to wait even longer until I can sell my car, grr. But, thankfully, no one was hurt. Well aside from my pride...

Friday, October 07, 2011

It's oh so quiet... kids have gone off for a sleepover at my Parents' house, husband is out on his bike with David and I am all alone with just the dogs :) have done the ponies, cleaned up the house, had a bath and opened the fizzy - and its only just 6pm!! Really tempted just to stay in this evening and have a takeaway with the fire on, but really we should make the most of the childfree time and go out for some dinner. I am quite fancying the idea of Greek this evening and we do have a super restaurant only a few miles away, so I may be tempted in to dolling myself up and embracing the evening, but equally I am cozy in my dressing gown, clean and make up free and the sofa is calling ha ha.

I did nip in to town earlier to do some errands and I picked up a fab teal and navy tunic dress from good old Primark, £15 and it is really lovely, so I may give it a run out. I only went in for socks and hair clips! Primark is a funny place, I love their socks/costume jewellery/kids pj's/ hell, my PJ's/ kids fitted sheets; but I don't always find clothes that I am willing to pay even a few ££ for. But, it is worth a frequent check because sometimes they have great items - things that you couldn't get any better elsewhere. I will post a pic of my tunic regardless of whether it gets an outing later, it looks much more monsoon, but I have saved myself over £100!!

Thursday, October 06, 2011

It is all about comfort food this evening, Teya came home from dance club STARVING and FREEZING (!) so I was very glad that I had made them Cottage Pie for supper. I make mine with a bol mince (softened onions, beef mince from local butcher, 1 tin tomatoes, red wine, 1/2 beef stock pot, garlic puree, tomato puree and mixed herbs with some extra oregano - salt and pepper) then a layer of baked beans (1 tin) followed by a hearty layer of cheddar and then topped with mashed potato. My lot don't like 'crispy' cheese so I find the layer inside works best, all gooey and delicious between baked beans and mash, yum! Served with a corn on the cob and of course, tomato ketchup ;)

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Wednesday already! Seems as though the weekend was ages ago - such a fun weekend that it was. On Saturday we dropped the kids off at Mother in Law's just before lunch and headed up the M1 towards Leeds for my Uncle's Retirement Party. We arrived just before 3 and found a pub/restaurant near to JC's house for lunch, quite by chance. The 315 turned out to be a fabulous choice, it is owned by an ex head Chef at Le Manoir and was absolutely fantastic, we just had bar food, steak and onion sandwich with chips for Him and Cajun chicken wrap and onion rings for me, but wow it was just superb, and all washed down with another great Marlborough Sauvignon. Here is a picture of my onion rings, the best I have ever had anywhere bar none! It was very reasonable too, big thumbs up from me. Oh, and there wasn't an under 18 to be seen ;)

Then we headed over to Groom Cottage at Fenay Hall and spent the rest of the afternoon reading and chatting (with more wine) in the autumn sunshine, it was lovely - but so quiet without the kids! It is a strange thing being away without them, much as it is lovely to just relax and have a good chat without worrying about high chairs, nappy changes, colouring pencils etc, it just feels so empty when they are not around. Anyway they were having a ball with their granny so that was lovely in itself. Parents joined us at around 6 and we all got ready and headed over to the party in Wakefield. Was really lovely to see JC and Matt and meet Becky (new girlfriend) and a very amusing evening was had by all. Lovely to celebrate JC's time as part of the Armed Response unit for Yorkshire Police, and to toast all of his Army achievements too. I do feel however that despite the fact that he is 53, his retirement is going to be anything but quiet.. watch this space!