Monday, 29 July 2013

Summer Bucket List.......Week Four

Its not good. I have to say, I've hit the wall.

Last week, my brother and my nephew visited from Hampshire which meant picnics, bbq's and lovely family lunches at The Mummys. And I couldn't resist all the lovely food on offer. So I didn't! And I think, all in all, the amount of weight I had lost the previous week has probably all piled back on.

The husband has still not joined me in eating healthily, he is currently tucking in to burger and chips as I type this. Why can't I just accept that this is my body and middle aged spread is inevitable.

I did do a little exercise this week though. Golf and Swimming! We had a lovely day at Markeaton Park in Derbyshire. There is so much to do there and it is quite a cheap day out. We set up camp on the banks overlooking the outdoor paddling pool and laid out a lovely picnic.

The kids splashed around for hours then we went for a game of crazy golf, which did get a little competitive with The Nephew. They had a play in the park and scared the life out of me when they climbed to the top of the spiders net. They didn't get to ride the donkeys this time as it was their rest time (the donkeys that is). There is so much to do at Markeaton Park, including canoes, pirate boat and a bouncy castle, as well as lots of green areas and forest walks.

It was a lovely day out but all ended a bit sour when I returned to the car park to find one of them nasty yellow stickers on my windscreen. My bought valid ticket had fallen on to the drivers seat due to the heat and the inspector had not seen it. I am disputing the fine and waiting to hear if my challenge is successful.

As for the rest of my #GetGoodSummer Bucket List, its all just fallen by the wayside. 

The garden has been ignored, except for The Husband mowing the lawn weekly. 

Just as I was getting better with the OCD dishwasher thing, I chatted to a fellow tweeter on Twitter, who also 'rearranges' her dishwasher. Sometimes the dishwasher needs 'reloading' to fit more stuff in to it. So, right back on it!

On a positive note, I have written another paragraph of my planned book. And Ed has just started writing a short story about Harry Styles, which she is hoping to publish on a short story website.

There is just no hope for me, though, for the rest of the summer!

Please comment below, I need encouragement, fast!

As always........Sent wiv Love

Monday, 22 July 2013

Summer Bucket List.......Week Three

Three weeks into #GetGoodSummer and so far so good. I think. But now is the testing time. The kids have broken up from school and I can feel myself waning.
So last week:

Bikini Body  - I forced myself on to the scales on Friday and to say I was quite pleased is an understatement. I lost 5lbs.  This gave me a massive encouragement boost to carry on and helped me to stay off the biscuits over the weekend. I didn't make it to running club on Tuesday and I haven't carried out any exercise, not even walking to the school to collect the kids. But I am determined to carry on eating healthily and I am trying to encourage The Husband to join me. 

I guess, I just need to carry on eating this 

to be able to get into this  

Garden Forest - The only time I have been in the garden this week is to sunbathe. I thought about the 'growing forest' on the back border a lot, but that is as far as I got!!
Bannisters - I am so pleased I managed to gloss without spilling the paint everywhere. I am a messy painter! I still have the skirting board on the side nearest the wall to do. I have a feeling that is going to be left until September. But you never know.  A miracle may happen.
OCD - I think I am nearly cured of this daft obsession of reloading it in a neater way. (All forks together, all knives together, all plates in height order, etc) A couple of times I have left it in the messy state it was loaded in. I just hope the queen doesn't pay a visit!

Book Writing - I have a few ideas rolling around in my head but I am a little unsure how to proceed. Do I need the whole story mapped out before I start writing or will a story line begin to flow as it gets written down?  I have bought a book on 'how to write a novel and get published', but have not managed to open it. 

So thats my week three of #GetGoodSummer. I will just mention that I really love the coasters that Claire has made over on ClarinasContemplations as part of her summer bucket list. I think I may give them a try as well as her homemade lemonade. The Mojito's that Louise at A Strong Coffee has made look very tempting as well. Especially if made into ice lollies. Click on the links to go take a peek.

Please feel free to comment in the boxes below or if you would prefer, send an email using the link at the top of this page.  I love to hear your thoughts and ideas, trust me they help. 

As always.......Sent wiv Love.

    Saturday, 20 July 2013

    Just Shut Up

    With everyone waiting in anticipation for the birth of our next royal, I began thinking about Kate Middleton and how she would cope with the labour. Will she let herself go and scream and holler. Will Prince William get a good old gob full. In fact, will he even be in there. Surely.

    I wonder if she ever just 'lets herself go'. Or is she so well groomed to hold it together at all times. Even if His Highness leaves the loo seat up after stinking the royal lavatory out! Is she taught to ignore, stench and all.

    If William gets on her wick does she ever tell him to "just shut up".

    Would she give him a quick boot if he was snoring too loud on the sofa. Does she sulk and hold a grudge.

    I wonder if she ever pops to her mums and just lays in the sun in the conservatory, while her mum makes her a cuppa and brings it to her on a platter ladened with custard creams. Does she ever kick off her shoes and walk barefoot in the garden to relax.

    It must be so hard to have to hold yourself in check 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Surely everyone needs to explode at some time.

    I explode often!

    Thursday, 18 July 2013

    Liebster Award

    I have been blogging for just under 2 months and I love it. (Not sure The Husband feels the same way). My brain is overloaded with so much new stuff and I'm sure there is so much more to learn.

    I would like to say thank you to fellow newbie blogger, ktbtw. She has nominated SentwivLove for the Liebster Blog Award which is given to bloggers with less than 200 followers, in order to give a little boost to gain followers and confidence.

    To accept the award, I must complete the following
    •   Link back to the blog that nominated me
    •   Nominate 5-11 blogs that have less than 200 followers
    •   Answer all questions posted by the nominator
    •   Share 11 random facts about myself
    •   Create 11 questions for my nominees
    •   Contact my nominees and let them know I nominated them
    Here goes:

    The blogs I would like to nominate are:

    More than a Momma  
    My Toddler Rules
    Super Busy Mum
    Happy Single Mum 
    One Busy WAHM
    Mum Wife Girl

    11 questions to be answered by me, posted by ktbtw:

    • When did you start blogging? May 2013

    • Why did you start your blog?  That can be blamed on The 40 Year Old Domestic Goddess who said it was the best way to start working towards my ambitions of writing a book. And then I got hooked.

    • What surprised you the most about blogging? I was so surprised at how many blogs are out there. Its like a whole new world that I had no clue about.

    • If you could have 3 “special guests” at a dinner party, who would you invite? Peter Andre for the eye candy, Jeremy Clarkson for his controversial opinions and Best Bud Fiona as I don't see her very much and its never a dull moment when she's around.

    • Where is your favourite place to go? The Mummy's because there I can relax with no chores!

    • If you could learn one new skill, what would it be? How to be a good cook. Ahem. In fact, how to cook full stop.

    • What were you doing this time last year? Haven't a clue, I don't even remember what I was doing this time last week.

    • If you could eat only one meal for the rest of your life, what would you pick? Curry. I love curry and would eat it every night if I could.

    • What’s your favourite film? Mamma Mia. I am a massive Abba fan and that film always puts me in a happy mood.

    • Do you believe in love at first sight? No, just lust at first sight.

    • Finish this sentence: If I had my way…… I would take the hefty unnecessary wage that footballers receive and feed the starving children in a third world country. 
    The 11 random facts I will say about myself are:
    1. I hate my height
    2. I often feel crap as a mum
    3. I love putting my makeup on every day
    4. I want to write a fiction book
    5. I am not very good at cooking!
    6. I wish I was good at cooking!
    7. I am good at making venetian blinds
    8. I love England but would love to have a holiday home abroad
    9. I nag a lot
    10. I am bossy
    11. I love social media sites
    The 11 questions to answer by my Liebster Award Nominees:
    1. What is your Twitter ID (might as well get more followers for your twitter account as well)
    2. How long have you been blogging
    3. How often do you blog
    4. What inspired you to start a blog
    5. If you could go anywhere, where would you go
    6. If you could change anything, what would you change
    7. What is your desert island necessity
    8. What is your favourite childhood memory
    9. Where do you want to be in 5 years time
    10. What is your pet hate
    11. What is your favourite season
    Thank you, once again, Katie, I really appreciate you thinking of me. And I hope the Liebster Award achieves us all some new followers on our blogs.

    As always.........Sent wiv Love

    Tuesday, 16 July 2013

    She's Better Than Me

    The very first day Ed (I still find it hard to call her by this blog name) went to nursery, I realised that you can't pick their friends for them. Sometimes their judgement is OK.

    She was 3 and we'd just moved to a new town so we knew no-one. Rambo aged 9 at this stage so practically a man, hence no tears (please don't sue if you read this son - see Who's Who post) had already started his new school and settled in fine. Unlike a few years earlier when he started nursery. For 3 months it took 2 nursery staff most mornings to peel him from me. Most of that 3 months I spent crying and tying myself to the chair to stop from going back to rescue him. If I didn't do something surely he would end up hating me and take the wrong path in life and end up on drugs and homeless and sick. (I'm a worrier and always have been)!!

    Then the day arrived to take Ed to nursery. Preparing for the worst we went in and off she went.  My Ed was growing up and had gone off with strangers (nursery teachers) without a question.  Did she not love me. Had I not supplied enough toys at home and now she had all these wonderful new things to play with. Would the teachers think I had neglected her. (More worry)

    I strolled home in the gorgeous sunshine wondering why I wasn't crying. (Did I not love her as much, had I not bonded, was she going to grow up, move abroad and never want to see me)

    I struggled through the morning and was first in the queue at the nursery door at pick up time. Out came all the children, all smiling and so happy to see their mummys.  Ed included.  She did love me. I asked her if she loved nursery and if she'd made lots of new friends.

    "Yes, mummy. Theres my best friend, she's better than me"

    "No ones better than you love, everyones the same" I replied.

    All evening Ed chatted about her new best friend, getting cross when I wouldn't accept that her friend thought herself better.

    So the next morning we went to nursery, me determined that I would guide her to play with another child.

    "There Mummy, there.  She's better than me." She hollered, and over came 'better than me' with her mummy.

    "Hi" said better than me's mummy, "Our girls played together all morning, yesterday, didn't you Bethany"

    Oh!! Well Ed did have a slight lisp back then, so easy mistake, yeah? And Ed and Better Than Me / Bethany had lots of lovely play dates.

    And in answer to the above self asking questions, in case you were wondering, Rambo has just turned 18. A hardworker, conscientious, kind and thoughtful.  His bedrooms a tip but if thats the worst problem he's brought to our door, I can deal with it.

    Ed is a people person, has lots of close friends and is very caring.  She's a mummy's girl (and a nanny's girl) and says she is staying home with me forever, until she moves out!

    Monday, 15 July 2013

    Summer Bucket List.......Week Two

    So week two of #GetGoodSummer completed.  And not too bad a week for my goals:
    • Bikini Body - I have managed to get through the weekend, for the first time in months, and not pig out.  My normal diet routine consists of being extremely good Monday to Friday morning. By Friday afternoon I usually make up for the lack of eating anything nice and manage to eat as much I can until Sunday night.  But this weekend, knowing that I would have to blog my progress, I have only been naughty on Saturday night.  I started running club on Tuesday evening with the Eldest Daughter (Ed). They are breaking us in very gently. 2 minutes running, 1 minute walk. In the current heat it was hell. It hasn't broken me though and at the moment, I am determined to run again this week.  Not sure if any weight has shifted as yet because I don't want to weigh in until Friday this week.  So next week I will report back to lbs lost.
    • Garden Forest - This week, I did, with the help of The Mummy, spend a bit of time in the garden but not to tame the ever-growing forest resemblance.  We emptied the shed of all the junk that The Husband has over the last few months just piled in there. It took a couple of hours and a couple of dump runs (in secret, as it is not wise to let The Husband know what is being thrown out, as he seems to think everything is needed....just in case).  I feel so much better knowing its clear but now waiting to see if it stays that way (got my doubts).

    • Bannisters - The painting task is definitely one I keep putting off.  This week would be ideal to get it done before the kids break up for summer but its one of those jobs I'm dreading. Maybe, just maybe, with the right encouragement I could report back next Monday to say I did it (don't hold your breath though).
    • OCD - This week, I have tried to keep my control freak attitude with the dishwasher in check. Only a handful of times have I re-loaded.  I think if I give everyone a lesson in how to load it it would ease my obsession.
    • Book Writing - Nope, nada, Nil. 

    By next Monday I am hoping to have lost a few lbs and after writing this blog post, I feel quite inspired to get the gloss out and get those bannisters ticked off my Summer Bucket List.

    As always.........Sent wiv Love


    Tuesday, 9 July 2013

    Summer Bucket List...... Week One

    So, clarinascontemplations is hosting a linky party for a Summer Bucket List to help us all achieve those things we need a little encouragement with throughout the summer months. Then each Monday we all link up and see how we are doing, good or lazy!

    So between now and September 1st 2013 I have set myself just 5 goals to achieve.

    1. We are going to Spain, Las Filipenas (said in a Spanish accent due to the fact that in an English accent it sounds quite dodgy) towards the end of the holidays. I most definitely need to lose a couple of lbs.  Ok, a stone to be precise.  Can I lose this amount before we go, most certainly not, but I'm going to have a damn good try with the help of Claire's Monday link up meetings.
    2. OK, so here's the thing.  Since signing up on Twitter and starting my blog, my garden has begun to resemble a forest.  The weeds are taking over and all the hard work The Mummy and I put in is gradually going to pot. So by the end of the summer I would love to rid the back border of overgrowth and lay the next section of grass to the side area of the garden.
    3. In March I top coated the woodwork in the hall but, it shames me say, I got fed up and never finished the bannisters.  This is a task that will be difficult to achieve due to the kids being home over summer. And as we all know, kids and gloss top coat don't mix.
    4. I would love to write a fiction book. Therefore during the lazy summer months in the garden, when the kids are amusing themselves, I would love to start putting pen to paper, or fingers to laptop and start the first stirrings of a story.
    5. My next task is a little different. I seem to have a 'thing' about reloading the dishwasher when the kids or The Husband has loaded it. By the end of the summer I would like to be rid of this OCD issue I have.
    As I am a week behind everyone linking, I will update week one quickly now.  

    Week One Achievement.

    I started eating healthily yesterday (it was two of my childrens birthdays so lots of cake had to be finished over the weekend), and tonight the Eldest Daughter and I are starting running with a local club for the next 10 weeks.

    As always........Sent wiv Love


    Saturday, 6 July 2013

    Running For My Life

    Bare foot, I've lost my shoes somewhere along the way. My breath is short sharp spasms and if I get through this alive, I swear, I will admire anyone that survives this horror after me.  I'm not the first and I won't be the last.

    On I run with only one thought - beating this yearly endurance without scars, mentally or physically. If I fall now I will have to carry the humiliation around for ever and the children will always be known as the 'kids of the mummy that fell'.

    I can see in the distance, miles in the distance, the place I am aiming for. Please let me keep going. I am on the verge of giving up. My legs can go no faster and my feet are heavy with the burden of 'the others' rapidly approaching.

    "Run Mummy, run, don't let them catch you."  I can hear the children and it spurs me to carry on. I can feel 'them' catching me, drawing closer.

    My eyes are watering and little droplets are starting to trickle down my cheeks. My hair is flying backwards in the wind. Moisture is forming on my brow and top lip. I gain a rhythm, arms setting a pace. My chest feels like its on fire. Burning inside.

    I need to go faster. To escape 'the pack'. I feel 'them' nearing. Too near but I mustn't look round.

    I am only metres from refuge. The final push, the moment when I succeed or fail. The reason for running all forgotten, until this point of finish.

    I lose! Its all over.

    It is so stressful entering the Mummys Race at School Sports Day!

    Monday, 1 July 2013

    Moving Out.....!!

    Be warned, this is a generalised piece of writing that mainly highlights the different priorities held by teenagers versus 'grown-ups'.

    Over the last few months, in fact its probably more like a year, the eldest teenager aged 17 (18 this week), has been making lots of noises about wanting to move out and have 'independence'. Full blown independence. After initial thoughts of 'he won't cope without me', I decided it would be beneficial if a couple of basic pointers in 'living without mummy' were raised for teenagers heading out in to the big wide world. 

    I do understand that 'independence' to a lot of teenagers means answering to no-one, drinking and partying and playing on the playstation / xbox all night long! (Definitely much more sensible to find their 'independence' under their own roof!). But independence, to us parents, obviously means and includes a lot more:

    Please note: Practical lessons will probably be needed after reading.


    The general consensus amongst teenagers seems to be that clothes are hung on the floor, directly where standing at the time of removal from the body. They disappear, usually during sleep in the daytime hours, and miraculously re-appear smelling clean and fresh, crease free (we'll cover ironing later) and placed in a nice order on a hanging rail in the wardrobe.  Shock and horror, its not a miracle, its your mother.

    Clothes should be cleaned regularly using a washing machine.  (Separate lessons will need to be given on each individual model)  When clothes have been worn once, sometimes twice, they should be placed in a washing basket. This leaves the floor clear to walk freely without tripping or standing on something and breaking it. Underwear is a different case and should be placed in the dirty washing basket daily or as soon as it is removed from the body.

    This applies to bedding too. It needs washing, drying and ironing, ideally weekly (I don't want to put too much pressure on too soon, so try for every 2 weeks to start). Be warned, if you have an overnight guest, bedding with a stench of unwashed feet and BO won't go down well and you probably won't get a return visit.

    Ironing clean laundry is essential for looking smart. (Although, I understand that smart is not a priority at this age - independence is) You will need an ironing board and an iron - please note, the carpet will burn if you use the floor as the ironing board. 


    I cannot possibly comment on cooking.  In fact, the eldest teenager has indeed tried to teach me a dish or two. So you're on your own with this one.  

    Shopping though, is a weekly must. If only for essential foods like bread, butter and milk - staple foods do not include beer, vodka, cider or crisps. It costs money and you do have to go to the shop to pick your items and bring them home.  Again, as with the clothes, food does not put itself away. If a hangover prevents a weekly shop there are on-line resources via most supermarkets. See Money below about budgeting.

    Sometimes, food goes mouldy.  You will need to do a regular check on items in the fridge that may well be past their best.  If there is any sign of green mould, it is time to remove it and put in the outside rubbish bin. (Eating food in this condition could cause a serious illness) You will have to ask neighbours about collection days for dustbins. 


    If you don't clean, you get dust.  If you get dust you won't be able to see the TV screen well, which could result in a lost match on fifa. Hoovering the floors should be achieved at least twice a week (for the record, I hoover daily). This is when it is useful if the dirty clothes have been placed in the washing basket instead of hung on the floor. It gives a clear run and lessens the likelihood of items being sucked up by mistake.

    Bathrooms need bleach as they are not self cleaning. The strange contraption sitting in its own holder behind the toilet is a toilet brush. This brush will remove any signs of use!! You will, I'm afraid, have to use a cloth and spray to clean the seating area, especially if used by any male friends. 


    Parents: By the time sounds of moving out arise, hygiene should have kicked in. This usually comes at the same time as the aftershave / perfume appears.  It is generally a sure sign that love is in the air.  If love hasn't reared its ugly head by this time there is not a lot to do besides constant reminding that a body needs regular soap and water to get clean.


    Budget, Budget, Budget.  Independence means you paying your way.  Your money is now needed for rent / mortgage and bills. Remember, no electricity means no fifa.  You will also need money for food, phone and petrol.

    These things don't magically appear, they have to be paid for and if you don't pay for them a nasty man may come and take your things away. You will then have to go back home to your parents with your tail between your legs and state how much you miss and need them. (Parents: If this happens, hopefully by this stage, the teenagers will be a little less idle around the home and appreciation will be shown more readily than pre-independence)

    Your dependence has now shifted......... to your job. 

    If there is anything I have missed, let me know by using the comments box below or contact me boxes above.  When alls said and done, teenagers about to embark on this most exciting adventure, have so much to learn and although sometimes stressful and monotonous and depressing, it is also the best time of their lives. Enjoy every minute of it and grab every opportunity - this applies to both teenagers and 'grown-ups'.

    And parents..........although its very tempting to rip the now empty bedroom out and make it your very own haven, smelling of fresh would probably be wise to wait. Sometimes they come back.  (I know I did but I came home as 3 - with a partner and a baby in tow)

    As always............sent wiv love