Tuesday, 31 July 2007

9 Years Ago Today.......

.............we'd just finished our first dance as a married couple! To this lovely little ditty:

by Mr Williams :)

Personally, I think any excuse to waltz around all day in a dress like this is a good excuse for a celebration ;)


I have to confess though - up until about 9pm last night when I saw an advert on the telly with a bouquet of flowers and a "Happy Anniversary" message - we'd both forgotten! LOL. I've been busy..... but Kendo's got the date tattooed on his arm, so what's HIS excuse ;)

So, here we are. Nine years together as Mr and Mrs Kendo........ some people serve less time for manslaughter (and I'm sure the thought has occured to us both in that length of time) ;)

TTFN


Monday, 23 July 2007

Those Me Too! Moments

Grace-and-Ewan_10-mths

I've had a few of these over the past weekend. For those of you fortuntate enough never to have been subjected to an episode of "Me Too!" you can either live in blissful ignorance (my recommendation) or you can, of course, find out all about it at wikipedia (because, let's face it, you can find out about pretty much anything on wikipedia, I'm sure they've probably got articles explaining the process of how belly button fluff comes to be (I'll have to look for that later)). Anyway, I digress, again. Those of you how have seen the delights of Me Too! will know what I mean.... Where did the time go? (am I suppose to sing that "race against time song now"???).

So, "Me Too!" moment no#1

Ewan was 10 months old on Sunday!! I can't believe it. Seems like only last week I was bemoaning being pregnant in a heat wave (Hmmmm... summer...... we remember what one of those is, right?). In a couple of months my baby will be one, and probably walking or close too at this rate. Not a baby any more really. Where did the time go?

"Me Too!" moment no#2

The new Harry Potter book came out Friday - no, really, it did (just incase that managed to escape your notice ;)). I bought it Saturday afternoon, and finished it this morning. Which basically put pay to my entire weekend. I'll say no more on the subject lest I give something away. Where did the time go?

"Me Too!" moment no#3

We're half way through July already. A month past the Summer Solstice - already into the nights getting longer. Not that we'd notice much at the moment because it seems to be dark early anyway with the crappy weather. I like Autumn, it's my favourite season, I'd just like it in September rather than July! Anyway, almost to the end of July, then it'll be back to school, then Halloween, then Christmas, then Grace will be 4!! Where did the time go?

What I really need to do is claim back some time tonight and get some scrapping done. I have 4 projects sitting part started (I won't say part finished - that'd imply I'd done more than get all the bits and piece for them out) and I really need to accomplish something this month. Maybe I do need the Race against time song after all - it always works for Bobby, Mickey John and Raymond.....

"I'm gonna do it. I'm gonna do it
I'm gonna beat the clock before the chime......



TTFN

Thursday, 19 July 2007

Packed Lunch Left Overs

Cherry-muffins


What are you gonna do when you buy cherries for your packed lunch (there's no cafeteria open in the college during the holidays - a fact you'd think they'd have mentioned before my first day and saved me a lunchtime dash to the supermarket! LOL) and you have too many? Well - bake cherry muffins with the leftovers, of course!

I have to say that sadly, these look better than they taste :( They're a little doughy and there's not enough sugar. So I'm going to have to amend the recipe next time. I think I'll try adding some double cream. Anyhoo - this is the recipe I did use (with extra sugar because I know it really needs that).

Cherry Muffins

Ingredients

1/2 tsp Salt
1 tblspn Baking Powder
2 cups Plain Flour
3/4 Cup of caster sugar
1 cup pitted cherries
1 Lg Egg
3/4 cup Milk (I'm thinking of using 1/4 cup milk and 1/2 cup double cream next time)(
1/4 melted butter

Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into a large mixing bowl
Add the cherries and mix until evenly distributed

In a seperate bowl beat the egg until pale and fluffy. Stir in the milk and melted butter.

Stir the egg mixture into the dry ingredients and mix well.

Fill cups to about 3/4 full

Bake on Gas mark 5, 375Degrees for 25-30 minutes.

I also added a teaspoon of brown sugar to the top for a nice crunchy topping.


So, that's the baking portion of the programme out of the way. Onto other things.

I haven't done much blogging the last week or so because I've been totally knackered from trying to remember how to juggle work, house and babies. I'm sure it wasn't so difficult to get just me and Gracie out of the door on time when I was at work before. Some how it's 3 times as hard with one extra person. Well, maths never was my strong suit ;)

Ewan's started pulling himself up on the furniture this week, so, coupled with the crawling, he's into absolutely EVERYTHING. I think I've spent most of the last 2 days saying "Ewan don't chew that", "Ewan don't touch that", "Ewan don't go there", "Ewan get your finger out of that plug socket" (okay, maybe not that one - but you get the picture ;)). I'm knackered from being at home. At least I get to go back to work for a rest on Tuesday!

Right, that's me all blogged out for the day. Hopefully I'll manage to post some in the week. Work and Ewan-chasing permitting. LOL.

TTFN

My husband - the Brainiac!

No. I don't mean he's taken to blowing up caravans as his weekend hobby (although given the opportunity, I doubt he'd turn it down as a way to pass the time :)).


The results of his City & Guilds course came through today - and he passed with credit (which as far as I can work out is the same as a Merit in HNC/D). The clever sod.


So now he has a City & Guilds in Concrete Technology. What he's going to do with it, I don't know, but it's all his. He's just waiting for his certificate to come through.


So - WELL DONE KENDO! Just proving once and for all that he's not just a pretty face ;)

TTFN

Thursday, 12 July 2007

Condemned!!

One house that reeked of gas

One mini evacuation (well, taking the kids to my Mum's) and

One call to the gas board later....

we have this:

Condemned!

My cooker has been condemned!! Must be all that work it's had to put in with cupcakes and cookies recently :P

So, we'll be off to buy a new one, which is a bummer, but at least we don't be getting gassed!

TTFN

A Series of Fortunate Events :)

snow-white-and-the-seven-dwarfs-3

You'll have to have the dwarves again - because I can't be arsed finding another "off to work I go" photo :)

I can't remember if I blogged about it (hey, I've slept since then!) but I had an interview last week for an administrator job (in the degree department) of the sixth form college where I did my 'A'-Levels. They called the day after the interview to say that the job had gone to someone else (who had specific education admin experience) - BUT - they called again yesterday to say that's she's turned it down because she's been promoted at the place she's currently at. So they've offered me the job - and I took it (I have NO qualms about sloppy seconds :P).

I'm doing two days next week (Monday and Tuesday) to do a hand over with the woman who's currently doing the job and then I'll start properly the week after which will be 3 days (9-5) - Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

What's very strange is that I knew, from the second I saw the advert that I'd be doing this job. I've even joked after they called about me not getting it that the other applicant might fall down a big hole and they'll call me back and offer it to me. It must be fate! I could even see myself working at the desk that comes with the job, which I saw on my mini tour of the place after my interview. Kendo says I'm not getting that desk though - they're going to put one in the corridor especially for me so I feel more at home :P ).

So, my time as a SAHM has come to an end. It was nice while it lasted and part of me is really gutted that I have to be going back to work at all, but part of me is also really ready to get back into working (something other than nappies, bottles and baby laundry to occupy my thoughts).

I'd better get this mummy-brain of mine kicked into gear! I'm going back to college! LOL

TTFN

Monday, 9 July 2007

Finally - Some Cookies on the Cookie Blog!

Toll-house-cookies

I had such good intentions for crafting tonight. I've got about 4 or 5 projects that I've got brewing - but didn't get round to any of them! (again!) *SIGH*
I did manage to make these though, so the evening wasn't a total wash out.


Chocolate chip and walnut "Toll House" cookies - and damn fine they are too.


2 1/4 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened (8oz)
3/4 cup caster sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) milk chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts


Beat the butter until soft, add the caster sugar, brown sugar and vanilla and beat until creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating between each one. Gradually add the salt, baking powder and flour and beat until thoroughly mixed. Add the chocolate chips and nuts and mix until evenly distributed.



There are two ways to go about baking them:
1) drop heaped dessert spoonfuls onto a greased baking sheet

2) Divide the mixture in two, wrap in greaseproof paper and refrigerate for an hour, then roll each half into a 15 inch sausage shape. Refrigerate for another 30 minutes and then slice into 1/2 inch thick rounds.


Either way you bake them at 375F, Gas Mark 5, 190C for 9-11 mins or until golden. Cool on the baking tray for a couple of minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. I did half the first way (which made about 15) and put half in the fridge as a roll (it'll keep for a week before it needs to be baked). You can freeze it aswell apparently - but I doubt it'll last that long. The uncooked cookie dough was pretty yummy aswell :)


Hopefully I'll get round to some of those craft projects at some point this week. Time will tell.

TTFN

Should I Stay Or Should I Go Now?

The thing about temp agencies is...... you're always at their beck and call. Hmmpff. The agency called this morning to say they wanted me back at the place I went to on Friday (which I was wrong about by the way - there weren't many words ending in -itis....but there plenty starting with tympanic and ending with -ology (that's what the Audiology dept will do for you :) )). Anyway, I digress (no change there then). They called this morning to ask me to go back, so I ran round like a nutter, called Mum to make sure she could resume childminding duties, getting the kids sorted, getting me dressed into something vaguely office acceptable. Then they called back 15 minutes later to say they weren't sure if they need me and could I stay on "standby" for them. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. So now I'm basically going to be hanging round all morning waiting on them, as is Mum. Very annoying.


It's been a funny old weekend around here. Not much like a weekend at all infact (apart from the no school and Sunday dinner bits). Kendo's been driving all weekend so there's just been me and the kids at home, doing some driving of our own, that is, driving each other round the bend!



I'm not sure what's going on with Gracie the last few days. She's suddenly come over all Yorkshire. Her previously "posh" accent (that everyone usually comments on) has gone and she's replaced Mummy with "Mum-eh" and Daddy with "Dad-eh", aswell as "meh" "Beh" and "ok-eh". I don't know where she's got it from all of a sudden. I keep expecting her to start saying "By 'ecky thump" and "Well. I'll gu't fut o'ar steers". Bizarre.


Ewan is so close to crawling properly it's painful to watch. Everytime I think he's about to launch off he seems to change his mind and plonk back over to sitting on this bum. At this rate I'm going to give myself an aneurism from willing him on! I'm sure he'll initiate take off sometime this week when he's good and ready. Of course the lack of actually crawling hasn't diminished his ability to get into absolutley EVERYTHING around the living room. I think it might be time to re-evaluate the baby proofing.

Right, I'm off to have a cuppa and wait to see if the agency call back. Did I mention how annoying that is??

TTFN+

Thursday, 5 July 2007

Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho, It's off to work I go

snow-white-and-the-seven-dwarfs-3


Oh my! I'm going back to work tomorrow!

Well, temporarily anyway. I had a call from the temp agency today and after some reshuffling of childcare arrangements (isn't it just typical that tomorrow is the only day in months that Mum's had anything planned??) I've agreed to go and cover some sick leave at a local NHS Walk-in Centre tomorrow (and maybe a couple of days next week - depending on the severity of whatever lurgy has inflicted the person I'm filling in for ;)). It's some sort of audio-typing/secretarial gig. So no doubt I'll be spending most of tomorrow trying not to misspell lots of long words that end in -itis while I'm transcribing medical notes. That should be entertaining :)
It's slightly scary this temping melarky in that you get to be the new girl on a weekly basis - which can suck somewhat. The added benefit though is that if you get sent to work with a bunch of muppets at least you know you're not there that long.
Now... where did I put that pickaxe??? Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho, it's off to work I go....do do do do, do do do do....
TTFN

Wednesday, 4 July 2007

One of your 5-A-Day?

Cinnamon,-Carrot-and-Orange



Healthy cupcakes??? Maybe??

They've got orange juice and carrots. So, on the basis that they've got both fruit AND vegetables in them, they must be healthy. Right? I'm sure they can count towards your 5 portions a day ;)

The recipe for these is from Shimelle's blog, and you can find it here.

I would definitely recommend making the frosting the night before and refrigerating it. I made mine this afternoon and it was still a little soft when I piped it. Making it in the day was rather dangerous, as it's particularly yummy and I've been dipping into it all afternoon. Good thing that it makes way too much to ice 12 cupcakes (which is what the recipe made) :) So it's all good.

The recipe seems a bit of a peculiar one with strange and interesting ingredients like dream topping and custard. But they are decidedly moreish. Good job it only made 12 really ;)

Tollhouse cookies are on the agenda next - probably Friday (as that's usually baking day) and I've got a couple of paper and fabric things on the go too, so more about them when they're done.

I really need to get back into the regular blogging habit and stop slacking. I'm sure I'll start thinking of something interesting to say soon. On the other hand, why break the habit of a lifetime?

TTFN

Tuesday, 3 July 2007

Didn't we have a lovely time the day we went to Black Rock :)

So. Things are finally almost back to normal around here post-holiday, so I'm finally getting round to blogging about our trip.

We arrived on Saturday afternoon after surviving a three hour barrage of "Are we there yet?" form the back seat (do you think there's a gene for that? Apparently I used to do it all the time - according to Mum, who was trying her best not to wear her "revenge is sweet" smile whilst telling me). The weather was a bit dull on the way down but passable. After juggling caravan's to decide which one we'd fit in best (with having the travel cot) we decided to put the kids in one room instead of Ewan in with us [Note to Self: Spend the extra on a 3 bedroom caravan next year and save a whole lot of bedtime trauma!].

Grace was ecstatic to get to see Rory the Tiger and Anxious the Elephant again (I took a photo of her with Anxious but managed to chop the Elephant's head off! Jaqs has a good one though so I'll post that when I get a copy). The club was good for the kids - but we didn't really get to see any of the evening shows (but judging by the sounds of strangled cats emanating from there on "Rock Night" we didn't miss much).

This is Ewan and Auntie Jaqs enjoying the Showbar ambiance:

Ewan-and-Auntie-Jaqs



It's wasn't a total wash out weather wise (nearly, but not quite). On Sunday we all took a walk to the gorgeous beach at Black Rock Sands. Not expecting it to be nice we hadn't packed even so much as a towel - but that didn't stop us going for a paddle in the waves. Jacqui barely managed to escape a dunking by Stu (he should have tried harder IMO ;) ) and Gracie ended up soaking wet - but totally happy. What more can a toddler ask for? Here's a couple of pics to prove we did have some reasonable weather - although there were still black clouds threatening even then!

Dan-and-the-kite


Dan with the Dragon Kite

Black-rock-2


Stu trying to dunk Jaqs

Splash!


Black-Rock-1


Grace, Kendo, Jaqs and Luke splashing around

We made Kendo's week by having a night in with poker playing and board games.

Triv


Playing Trivial Pursuit

Considering I'm hopeless at poker I managed to do quite well - to the bemusement of Stu who couldn't understand why I bet when I had crappy cards (hey, I figure if you're not going to see the flop then what's the point??). I was doing remarkably well with my winnings:

Poker


until I was pipped at the post in the last hand where we all went all in. I Lost everything to a bloody Seven! Damn that sister of mine. This was the result when she realised she'd won (and as revenge, I'm sharing it with the world..... mwaahhhhh!!).

Jacqui-wins-at-poker


We didn't forget Ewan!! He had a blast too - and was a little super star all week long (even with a snot nose). He even survived being bathed in the caravan kitchen sink (hey, it's happened to the best of us!). Of course we had to take photos for future embarrassment potential:

Ewan-in-the-sink


So, that's our week in a nutshell. Somewhat damp but a great time had by all. Lakeland next year we think, just for a change of scenery..... in a THREE bedroom caravan, of course!

TTFN