Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Our Morrisons Meal - Yum!


This week I was lucky enough to be picked to be a #morrisonsmum and was sent £80 in vouchers to spend in store over the bank holiday to test out their ‘New Cheaper Morrison's’ and to share my experience and a recipe with you!


We went to the big Morrison’s in Canterbury on a busy Saturday afternoon but despite the number of people we had a very positive experience. It was easy to find a very spacious Parent and Toddler space right near the entrance in the car park (a bonus at the moment as I’m not feeling very mobile with my expanding tummy bump!). Inside the supermarket the environment was easily laid out and ‘Market Street’ looked appealing. Staff were extremely friendly and made the experience as hassle free as possible.

Yummy


As we had our vouchers I treated us to some extras that we wouldn’t usually buy, a Cheesecake for dessert,  a garlic flatbread, some beer for Daddy and an antipasti platter for a starter. I decided to go Italian and make a lasagne as I haven’t done it for ages and it turned out very nice! It has served us 3 (two adults and one toddler for THREE meals!)

Jacob was still in good spirits even after our shopping trip! woohoooo!



Here is the recipe – measurements aren’t all that important so just go with taste and looks and I reckon it will turn out fine!

Per portion without the ‘extras’ I think it cost under £1.50 per adult portion.

Yummy! Thank  You Britmums and Morrison's for choosing me!




 

Easy Lasagne Recipe

Ingredients:
 


½ pack of Morrison’s Lasagne Sheets (95p per pack or 2 for £1.50)

1 Large Onion chopped

3 tbs Margarine or Butter

2 Tins Chopped Tomatoes (55p each)

A Squeeze of garlic puree (72p per tube)

A squeeze of tomato puree (99p per tube)

A block of cheese (£2.18)

1 Chopped Yellow Pepper(99p for 3)

Plain flour

Sprinkle of sugar

Milk

Quorn Mince (£3.58 per pack)

Salt, Pepper and Basil to taste.

Method:

To make the bolognaise fry the chopped onion until soft, add a generous squeeze of garlic puree then add the Quorn Mince and fry until its beginning to soften. Add two tins of chopped tomatoes and a squeeze of tomato puree. Sprinkle on a little sugar to reduce the bitterness of the tomatoes. Add the chopped yellow pepper and whatever other vegetables you might like. Season with salt, pepper and basil to taste. Keep this simmering away until it is cooked and tastes just right.

To make a simple white cheesy sauce melt the butter in a pan, take the melted butter off the heat and stir in enough plain flour to create a dough. Return the dough to the heat and add milk stirring as much as possible to reduce lumps until the sauce is the right consistency. Don’t worry if it looks too thick or lumpy at stages just keep stirring and cooking then adding more milk. Add a little grated cheese to this sauce until it tastes just right for you. Season if necessary.

Layer the bolognaise, white sauce and pasta sheets until you have a lovely baking tray full of lasagne and top with the white sauce and a generous sprinkling of grated cheese. Bake in the oven at around 180 degrees for approximately 30 minutes. Keep checking to make sure it doesn’t burn.

Extras:

Morrison’s baby leaf salad (99p per bag)

Balsamic dressing (£1 per small bottle)

Cucumber (70p)

Sliced pepper (40p)

Morrison’s Signature Garlic flatbread (£1.45)

Morrison’s Signature Millionaires Cheesecake (£3.99)

Morrison’s antipasti platter (£3.00)

Sunday, 27 April 2014

I'm just having the best time!

It's the Easter holidays and after a busy start getting "the boys" room decorated- new furniture bought from IKEA and made (phew!) we have settled down for fun filled sunny, relaxing days. It's been wonderful!

We've been playing in parks, riding on the Romney Hythe and Dymchurch railway, to cool swimming pools and swimming lessons, more parks, visiting friends and family and generally having lots of fun!

The 'Easter bunny' left Jacob a really cool searching activity and some fun Easter gifts and some chocolate for when he had finished.  It was fab watching his excitement as he searched the garden for the little wooden eggs, bunnies and birds in his pyjamas, coat and trainers. He collected them in his new little bucket and when he had them all opened his little surprises - definitely being most impressed by the chocolate.

It's been so nice to spend time as a family and especially to take time to reflect on our family values and think about our relationships and the future. It all sounds a bit deep but really it's been great to have two whole weeks to grow closer and find ourselves individually again too. Both of us parents had separate trips away to visit friends and did loads together too.

This ominous (not so) little bump has given us lots to think about - practically and emotionally and we are so looking forward to meeting him. I cant wait for little Jacob to meet the baby and to start our life together as a family of FOUR!!

 

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Pregnancy, work and a toddler...

I haven't done much blogging lately. There are a few reasons for this but I think the main reason is that I haven't been in a very positive place emotionally and this isnt a place for me to share that. That's not what this is about. 

Briefly I think the hormone changes involved in becoming pregnant again had a challenging effect on me. It was hard to see all the good things in my life even though I knew they were there and I knew things weren't too bad I just felt a bit bland. 

Things are looking up now though. Last week we discovered that we are expecting another little boy. To be honest I didn't know how I would feel about another boy - would I yearn for a girl? But I am so happy that our little man will have a little bro to pal around with and I can't wait to meet him! I feel like I know all about little boys now. Unlike last time when a boy came as a complete shock at our 20 week scan, this time it's eased my worries and I'm just looking forward to finding out how this new little bean will be different to Jacob! 

Working as a teacher in an SEN school, looking after a toddler, being pregnant and emotional has not been an easy few months. On top if that there has been lots of illness going around and Jacob now has chicken pox! 

Pregnancy the second time around has been a much busier and more tiring time but I'm also more excited this time. I'm not as worried about things and I know more about all the great things to come. Hopefully there will be a bit less to learn and I can relax and enjoy more. 

I'm feeling optimistic and looking forward to our future 

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

"I'm so scared"

Maybe it's because I know what I'm in for this time. 

I obviously have the worry that everyone does at this stage of pregnancy - that it won't work out. But I try to put that to the back if my mind. What will be will be. I think in reality, because we had no problems last time and because I haven't had any problems in the past, that this time will be fine too. 

I'm really scared because of all the changes that are going to happen. I was getting quite used to my life - having my independence, going out with friends at the weekend while Jacobs dad looked after the little man, sharing responsibility for him with his dad, wearing what I like, eating and drinking what I like, staying up late and not being scared that I might not be allowed to sleep and getting pretty good at taking Jacob wherever, being prepared and being able to look after him. What will happen when there are two?! I'm going I need a double buggy! A two year old still needs to go in a buggy right? 

I have been looking at the babycenter app and this picture in particular has been scaring me 


The thought of that being in my belly is pretty weird never mind the potential it has to change our lives forever! 

Monday, 25 November 2013

I think I'm pregnant...

.. well, now I'm writing this I know I am! It's very early stages at the moment. We found out 2 days ago but I've been having very strong suspicions for about 3 weeks. Last time I had no idea but this time I think my body remembers the subtle feelings that early pregnancy brings. My boobs have been aching now and then, I've been getting headaches, feeling a bit queasy and my belly has hurt loads when I really need a wee. I am really thirsty and have gone off sweet things and am craving salty food, which happened the first time round too.


Doing the test and seeing the result was no real surprise to me. I didn't feel anything. I have however had enjoyable pangs of nerves each time I have told anyone. Unlike some people we have told our close friends and family even though we are so early on because should anything not work out we would tell them anyway. 

Day two of knowing about this new life beginning in my belly was more of a roller coaster. Most of the day went by as normal although I am feeling very tired but by the end of the day I was so tired and emotional it was ridiculous - cue the unexplained and over the top crying. I am quite scared, despite having done it once before, this time I know how much it will change me and my life. 

The main thing I will do differently this time is try not to put on as much weight, last time I got pretty hefty and it meant that I felt horrible towards the end and it was hard to enjoy. I know it's a bit early but I needed some new jeans so today I bought some maternity jeans that fit perfectly now and have loads of space for a big belly but not much space for my legs to get fat so I'm hoping this will give me some incentive not to get too chubby, although I know a little bit is inevitable. 

Jacob is doing really well at the moment. We're very excited for him to have a sibling and we are just crossing our fingers that the next one is as good as him! 

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Friends

Sometimes only a girly day with friends will do. 

All last week I had been looking forward to a shopping day with one of my besties. Sometimes I really believe in "retail therapy" and this weekend I needed it badly.

(When I reflect on it I can feel quite guilty indulging myself when there are so many people with so little, but for now I suppose that's my downfall and I do support various charities. I guess this feeling is a symptom of our unfair world and something serious and important but not something I'm going to dwell on today.)

Despite all this I had really been looking forward to our girly date and getting something to wear for her birthday next weekend. Then I had such a bad Friday I really couldn't wait to see my buddies.

A bit about me - I work with young people with autism and challenging behaviour. I've been doing this a long time and find it an interesting, lively, fascinating and rewarding place to work. Of course there are difficulties but the benefits of this work far outweigh the challenges. I am also a sensitive and emotional person at times. Through my career I feel I have developed a gentle but strong attitude when necessary but it does crack occasionally, probably a little too often. 

I have been feeling very emotional lately and seem to be quick to tears, which recently isn't like me. It wouldn't be right to discuss details of what happened on Friday to crack my resolve but the situation left me in a real shock and crying randomly and intermittently throughout the day, even after I left work I snuggled on the sofa and cried and cried. 

So yesterday I met up with two of the most lovely girls and had a much needed break. We browsed the shops in a very busy Canterbury (it's getting that time of year again!) then had a very indulgent Mexican lunch and even cocktails! Tried on some cool clothes, got a new (free when you trade in 6 empties) MAC lipstick and got something for next weekend. Even though I'm still feeling very spaced out it went so far to repairing my bruised inner self it just made me realise how lucky I am to have such good friends! So thank you girls. 


To top off a good day my lil sis came to babysit with a couple of her gorgeous friends (who we also love) and me and Jacob's dad went to the movies - date night! Woopie! These days/ nights are so important. I read an article last week on Actually Mummy's blog where she was given some advice which I think I agree with ...
"Matthew made a controversial statement: that parents who put their children’s happiness before their own are damaging their offspring’s potential to develop happy relationships of their own. That “your happiness comes before mine” is a bad message, and that happy parents teach kids that personal happiness is vital throughout life." 
If we're happy then he will be happy, we spend loads of time together so a little apart is good for all of us.

I did miss the little man. It's weird because I crave these days out sometimes and my friend, who has no interest in having babies, would hate having to get up early, clean nappies and wash little handprints off a variety of surfaces but I really miss him when he's not around. I love his company (although there is no denying he is not the best shopping companion on a busy Saturday!) 

Friends (and family) really are so important, thanks girls! 

Monday, 4 November 2013

Día de los Muertos - Saturday Stylings

I've been feeling very reserved about Halloween this year. It just seems a bit wrong to celebrate scary things like zombies and other dead and scary things around a little boy who is so small and impressionable. It also seems to me like Halloween has lost it's meaning. If it had Christian origins I feel like they have been lost now.

 
These are all reasons that I wasn't too up for celebrating this year until a good friend of mine who's birthday is the 31st October decided to have a Día de los Muertos themed party. I started researching on Pinterest and discovered the prettiness, flowers and sugar skulls all involved in this positive celebration of Mexican Day of the Dead. The Huffington Post describe the differences between Halloween and Mexican day of the dead like this "Dia de los Muertos is a holiday with Mexican origins that is celebrated on November 1 - 2. While some imagery might be close to that of Halloween, there are significant differences between the two. Dia de los Muertos is a day to celebrate death -- or, more specifically, the deceased -- while on Halloween, death is seen as something to be feared." I much prefer the Mexican way of celebrating rather than fearing the deceased so I'm definitely going with this idea again in the future. 
 
Through my research of images of make up and images I got very excited about he party and ended up with a costume and make up that I loved! 
 
Luckily I had nearly everything I needed for my costume already...
Lots of flowers for my hair and I bought a few extra on eBay
 
Funky necklace, rings and earrings
 
Face paint applied with eyeliner brush 
 
Crystal and skull French connection necklace worn on forehead 
 
LBD from topshop
 
And I bought some crystals (99p plus postage from ebay to bling up the face paint and some black net and elastic to make a funky tutu! (£3.50 for net and old elastic from mum for free!)
 
I was so happy with my costume and dressed up Jacob's dad too - he looked brill! He wore a suit, hat and plain white t shirt and some stick on felt flowers sold for card making that had been fine to us by his nan! 

 
The wonderful Zoe made a Mexican feast in her beautiful home, decorated perfectly and accompanied by Mexican music and lovely people. We had a fab time and the little man had a sleepover at his Nana and Pop's house so we even had a lay in the next day! 
 
It was so great to have lots of time to ourselves and have a fun carefree party time.

This seemed like a much better way to celebrate the season especially as a friend of many around our local area tragically passed away this week. He ran the Dublin marathon and suffered a heart attack after completing the race. I didn't know him well but Jacob's dad and a lot of our friends knew him and he was a friendly, genuine and wonderful guy. He ran the marathon to raise money for the British heart foundation so we are continuing to try to raise money for his cause. If you would like to donate please click here to access his just giving page.