Tuesday, April 24, 2012

So, April is almost over and my little boy is 3!  It really seems no time at all since he was born..  We had a lovely time at the weekend celebrating his birthday, on Friday night we made the trek up to Nottingham (which took 4 hours! Nightmare) and stayed in a hotel for the night.  Saturday morning saw two very excited kids leap out of bed and head down to breakfast before going for a swim in the fantastic hotel pool and then setting off up to Leeds.  We arrived at Kate and Tom's just before lunch, Kate had decorated the whole place with banners and balloons and she had made the most fabulous train cake for Zoomy, he LOVED it! I was so touched, she really is so lovely.  After a quick itinerary check we headed out to Flying Pizza for amazing food and a great noisy catch up.  We then walked down to Roundhay park and went to Tropical World, which was excellent!  After all that we walked on over in to the park, had ice creams and even a ride on Thomas before making the long walk home again for Train Cake, tea and wine.  Z was beside himself with excitement, love him.  It was so so wonderful to see them both and spend time having a proper catch up about the baby and house plans and general catch up - it is 3 months since their wedding already and they look so very happy and content.. Baby bump is coming along nicely and she looks amazing too, so much happiness this weekend.

On our way south on Sunday we managed to stop in and see Nanny and Popo and JC, Becky and Matthew too.  So glad we did, they were all really pleased to see us and we had a good giggle.  It is funny but they (my grandparents) see a lot calmer and happier than I have seen them in a while - I think that the situation with my other grandparents has hit them hard and has brought home hard the fragility of life in old age, and just how quickly things can change.  I can only take that as a positive.  Another positive is that as a result of our visit and other family members last week, my Nana has come round a lot and can now see that my Grandad is indeed Jim, her husband, and not his mother, or a stranger.  The mind is a complex thing but I am really happy to hear that she is more accepting and despite the fact that my Grandad is growing weaker, she is able to support him mentally and that is a huge relief. 

My sister made me crack up today - she sent me the following in an email;

I was thinking today that if you were a city, you’d be Milan… Chic, organized, up to date, yet Mediterranean and groovy..

I would be Naples: dark, chaotic, disorganized and a little hairy at times!

I had to laugh!  She cracks me up, and man I miss her.. I shall take my comparison to Milan as a compliment, love her!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

My little ones have been staying with their Granny B for over 24 hours now and crikey I miss them.. the house is really clean, tidy and QUIET but it is horrid without them!  They have, however, spent a wonderful day on the Watercress Line (with both my Mum and my MIL) and have met Thomas, had their photograph taken with the Fat Controller and have obtained a few autographs.  It all sounds fab and I can't wait to hear all about it when they get home.  I have jacket potatoes baking in the oven waiting for their arrival.

Tonight for me and Him I shall be cooking Chicken Marsala served with new potatoes and asparagus.  It is one of our favs and I haven't done it in ages, will post some pics tomorrow if I remember to take them but in the meantime here is the recipe (note: you can add mushrooms to this but we are not keen, so do without)


30g (1 oz) butter
4 chicken breasts
salt, pepper
2 onions
2 cups water
2 chicken stock cubes
¼ cup marsala
¼ cup cream (optional)
2 tablespoons chopped parsley


Bash out the chicken breasts to about 1/4 in thick, lightly coat the chicken pieces in flour seasoned with salt and pepper. Melt the butter in a hot pan. Flash fry the chicken then remove them from the pan, they will cook in the Marsala sauce! Add peeled and finely chopped onions to the pan and saute them over medium heat until the onions are transparent. Add water, crumbled stock cubes and Marsala wine. Bring the sauce to the boil; reduce the heat; return the chicken to the pan, cover; simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10-15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked. Reduce the heat, stir in the cream (if using) and parsley and pour over the chicken. Serve with tagliatelle or potatoes and vegetables or salad.

Serves 4

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Hi ho hi ho its back to work I go!  Just HOW hard is it returning to work after a long weekend?  Especially after a particularly fab weekend.  Easter Sunday saw us all up at 8am (after a 4am revaille from the kids who could not wait to see if Easter Bunny had been!) followed by an egg hunt in the rain (after this rather dishevelled 'bunny' had hidden them around the garden in the rain!)  We were then joined by my parents and Mother in Law, we opened the champagne, swapped chocolate eggs and gifts and then sat down to a gorgeous leg of lamb and all the trimmings (didn't do beef in the end because I decided to run with tradition instead, the beef will keep!) including obligatory yorkshire puds for Teya ;) Kev found some really old video footage, stuff that we had completely forgotten about, so later that night we at watching lovely home movies and drinking wine until quite late - it was a really perfect day and quite amazingly neither of the kids were sick from over comsumption, so bonus there!

Yesterday I rolled out of bed with a slightly fuzzy head to join Saf, Janet and the kids in Camberely for a date with the soft play and then Chiquitos for lunch and a very fun time was had by all.  Now back to reality for a bit but really looking forward to having Riggy home at the weekend and finally getting to see my grandparents, it has been such a long time since we did.

Friday, April 06, 2012

Hmmm I have just spent over £100 at Zara online, ouch, some gorg things though - god I hope they Ming IRL.. What a fab day I have had with my babies, swimming this am, then play park then we picked up daddy for pub lunch, M&S shopping then back home for movie and BBQ- totes prefik! Kids have been delightful too, I'm very lucky. So, now watching lethal weapon 2 - mwoohoo- hubs is snoring and all is good so happy Easter all, make each day count and enjoy the time off x

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

The Easter holidays are here - hooray :) I am having this afternoon off work and then a quiet couple of days catching up on admin and some documentation before stopping for the long weekend.  I am really looking forward to getting out the Easter decorations and buying the eggs for the kids' egg hunt on Sunday, I just hope the rain can hold off for a while.  I bought the beef for Sunday yesterday from Waitrose, 2.5kg of silverside which was reduced and I got it for £11.74, from £20 - bargain!  It is so big that I have chopped it in half and have frozen it all so that it will do us several meals.  I am really looking forward to having my parents and hopefully MIL over on Sunday for a good get together, just need to decide on the pudding.. I think it will have to be my butterscotch tart, my lot do love it so. 

Talking about get togethers the wheels are in motion for our summer holidays - I know that August is a way off yet but I really wanted to get the flights booked so that we have something to look forward to, as we have a few tough months ahead.  So, my Sister and Andrew fly home on the 10th August and will stay until the 17th when me and my gang will fly back to Italy with her and stay until the 4th September!!  We are getting a villa near her for the whole stay but will de camp to La Casella for the bank holiday as normal - Saf and Ram and their kids are joining us for 2 days which will be brilliant, and they have booked their flights too, Steve is coming (although the naughty beast hasn't yet replied to my text about details, tut ;) ) and I really hope that Kitty and Damon will come too with little Reggie who will be 1 by then, crikey, which reminds me, I really must drop her a line and see how they are all doing.  Roll on August, you can't come quickly enough...