30 November 2011

The Gallery - The Kitchen


Where can I start with my kitchen?! Well, my kitchen is..........mmmmm....tiny. I do believe it is the smallest kitchen known to man. It measures a whopping 2m x 2.5m and there is no room for my fridge-freezer. Cooking in the kitchen is always eventful but luckily it opens up into the dining area and we spill over into there. Along with the children I have a good time in the smallest room in the house and between us we have baked some rather yummy things over the years.
So here is my entry in this week's Gallery. In spite of it's small size The Kitchen always comes up with the - baked - goods and has helped create some very happy memories.
Enjoy x x x







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29 November 2011

Snap Slappers - Week 3

Calling all photofiddlingaholics - you know who you are FiveGoBlogging lady - to join in this photofiddling meme!

Take a photo - post it. Fiddle with it - post it. Simples really.

My name is Melksham Mum and I am addicted to picnik.com. You can do some amazing stuff on it, or you can do something like this:

Before:



After:


Gorgeous isn't he??!!

Go on, link up below!

Five Go Blogging Snap Slappers
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27 November 2011

Mix-Tape Monday #4

I was very happy when I saw the theme for this week's Mix-Tape Monday meme from the lovely Boo And Me.

A Song From The Best Gig You Have Ever Been To

Back in June I went to London with my lovely friend Marieke for a well earned break from the kiddies and more importantly to finally see my favourite band. You know exactly who that is don't you?!
What follows is a clip filmed by my good self but please consider I had been drinking Bulmers for most of the day, it was raining and I was excited so the quality is not great.
But....there are FIREWORKS!! Oooooh. Aaaaaaaah.

So, I present to you....


video

Check out some more entries for this week's Mix-Tape here:

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26 November 2011

Starry Mince Pies vs Chocolate Alternative - The Kids Decide

 vs 


It may still only be November but I was feeling a little bit festive today and decided to make some mince pies. Now the last time I made mince pies they were bloomin' awful but my pastry skills have improved somewhat lately *blows own foghorn* Paaaarp! Obviously the kiddies had to get involved and a little bit of bribery and corruption was up my sleeve for them to cooperate with the vlogging later in this post - yes! Vlogging! Sort of!

So, the mince pies. We managed to make 10 using the following based upon the fact that was all the plain flour I had! You will need:

110g/4oz plain flour
1 tbsp caster sugar
55g/2oz butter
half tsp vanilla essence
2 tbsps cold water
mincemeat
icing sugar
Sift the plain flour into a large bowl and stir in the caster sugar.
Add the butter and rub in with fingers until it looks like breadcrumbs.
Add the vanilla and the water and bind together.
Wrap in clingfilm and chill for at least 30 minutes.

Grab two small children and ask them to roll out the pastry and cut out circles - to fit your previously greased tin - and stars to go on top.



Line the tin with the circles, put in about 2 teaspoons of mincemeat and top with a star.



Bake at 170c (fan oven) for 18-20 minutes.
Cool on a baking tray.
Sprinkle with snow icing sugar.
And Voila!


Then get your children to eat one and tell you what they think!

video

 
I am so impressed that Edith vlogged so well for me and that she actually liked something I baked! RESULT!
As a bribe special treat for being so helpful I let the children try a scrummy alternative mince pie that I had received to sample from Hotel Chocolat. Mmmmmm chocolate! These are milk and dark chocolate pralines with salted caramel in milk chocolate shells. A rather tasty sounding alternative if you're not a fan of traditional mince pies. Or a rather nice extra treat if you're feeling indulgent!


How cute do they look?
Here's what my chocolate reviewer thought:

 
video

That's my girl! She likes the chocolates but still appreciates a good bit of home baking!
But what about the boy?! Well I let him sample some other Hotel Chocolat christmas goodies - perfect treats for the kiddies this one.

Here's what he thought:
video

 
A Tiddly Penguin - yum!

So all in all I think the battle of the mince pies has resulted in a draw. Home baking is great but a treat from Hotel Chocolat is always worth it for a bit of Christmas indulgence.


Disclaimer: I received the Hotel Chocolat products at no cost to myself in order to review. 





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Saturday is Caption Day!!

Another week gone and it's Saturday already so Roll Up, Roll Up to Mammasaurus' meme.
Take a look at the picture below and give it a caption - the funnier the better, but not too rude!

Here's my boy, yes my BOY, from 18 months ago *sniff*:


Comment your captions below x x


Saturday Is Caption Day
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24 November 2011

What will I subject my children to?!

Parenting - it's a tricky old time. We do all we can for our children; feed them, clothe them, love them, drive them everywhere for their endless clubs and activities. We try our best to raise them to be respectful, caring, loving and thoughtful. Yet ultimately at some point they will be ungrateful for the experiences that we have provided them. They will be embarrassed by us. They will moan about the things we have subjected them to.

My parents subjected me to rubbish cars, no interest in modern music, bad hand me down clothes, church every Sunday - I'm not anti church but our church was so booooooring for kids, long long long walks whatever the weather, over cooked vegetables, Radio 4...the list goes on.

I, on the other hand, am a cool sophisticated parent and so far my children have got parents that have driven a Mini Clubman, have great taste in music, find great hand me down clothes, don't go to church as we are far too shattered on a Sunday morning, take them on short walks to the park, cook vegetables perfectly, listen to a range of radio stations....the list goes on.

I have, however, found a couple of things that my children have been subjected to and if this is all I can find I think I'm doing a pretty good job so far.

I present to you my first bit of video on my blog. Please excuse the dodgy editing, spelling error and all round lack of professionalism - I clearly need some lessons from Mammasaurus - but it's a start:


video


My parents would never have taken me to any kind of musical gathering, unless it was orchestral, but I am sure one day my two will not allow us anywhere near them at such an event. So I'm enjoying it all for now and just know one day they will look back and create a list of 'negative' things that we subjected them to!

What have you subjected your children to and how does it compare to your childhood experiences?
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23 November 2011

The Gallery - Something I Am Proud Of

The Gallery is lifting the spirits this week and asking us to think about those things we are proud of.
My contribution is probably similar to many this week as the thing I am most proud of is, my children.
But I am paying particular attention to my daughter, my first born, my special girl.
x
Edith.
I adore her.
She is stubborn.
She is so beautiful.
She is painfully shy.
She is definitely my daughter.
I am so proud of her progress.
Every day she grows in confidence.
She will be just fine.
My Edith.
x x x







Photography
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22 November 2011

I'm clearly not a celebrity but, what the heck, get me out of here anyway!

I've been tagged by the gorrrrr-geous SAHDandproud and Cat from Yellow Days in this 'I'm a Celebrity' inspired meme. Fabalicious! I've always wanted to be a celeb and go to the jungle (lie) and meet Ant and Dec (lie). If you don't know your Ant from your Dec according to SAHDandproud they always stand with Ant to your left and Dec to your right. I, however, remember which one is which as Ant is the one who is, according to my daughter, her dad! See here before anyone sues me for libel.

Right then, onwards to the meme 'interview':

1. What is the one thing about being a parent that makes you scream, 'GET ME OUT OF HERE!'
The fact I can never call in sick. NEVER!

2. What skills, if any, do you have that would be useful in the jungle?
Ummmm. Errrrrrrrr. Hmmmmmm. I can.... nah. None.

3. How are you likely to annoy people if you were stuck with them for three weeks?
With my constant moaning and OCD-like tendancies. The camp will need to be tidy. EVERYTHING has a place.

4. What is the worst thing you have ever eaten?
Kidneys - *barf*

5. What luxury item would you take into the jungle with you?
A vat of Jack Daniels.

6. What is the most daring thing you have ever done?
Having a go at a daft driving instructor for parking like a tool outside my house. I am a real wuss so for me that was really daring!! Or possibly rude?! Oh well, she was wrong and I was right. End of.

7. Who would you miss most if you went into the jungle with a bunch of strangers?
My kiddies - even though I am soooo desperate for a break from them right now.

8. What celebrity, alive or dead, would you like to have with you in the jungle?
Ronnie Vannucci - bearded lovely drummer man of The Killers fame. I would even let him share my Jack Daniels - and my camp bed. Fnar fnar!

9. What would scare you about being in the jungle?
The D grade 'celebrities'.

10. After leaving the jungle, you go to a luxury hotel. What's the first thing you do?
Invite Ronnie to my room. Fnar! Fnar!

I now have to tag someone.
I tag........... @Piglet33
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Snap Slappers - Week 2

The photo fiddling meme from Five Go Blogging is back for round 2! I have a feeling this may run and run as she, as in Five Go Blogging, is an *ahem* *whispers* addict. Eeek! That's right she outed herself on Twitter and everything, and the worrying thing is there is a gang of us being sucked in and dabbling with Picnik and other variants of photo fiddling technology. Help us!!!!!!

If you can't help well, join in the fun! *snort snort* (That is laughter - nothing else)

Here is my contribution this week to Snap Slappers:


Sophisticated - ya?!

Join in here:

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20 November 2011

Strictly me time - well, for 24 hours!



I finally had some time away from home; time away from being just a just a mum, time for me, time to forget about everything that has been stressing me out lately. Whilst working on Project Run Fat Girl, Run last Monday evening I received a text from a friend with a last minute invite to the Strictly Come Dancing filming at Wembley Arena. Fantastic timing! I was due a break and was in desperate need of some time away from the mundane role of SAHM. There were preparation hiccups and I had to go out and buy a dress - see here for that momentous occasion! But Saturday came around quickly and at 12 noon I was sat in my friend's huuuuge 4x4 diesel guzzling Mitsubishi car thing and cruising up the A350 towards the M4. Sat nav on and we reached our 5* posh hotel Travelodge on an industrial estate in Wembley - well the pennies are tight at the moment and all we needed was a place to crash.

The Travelodge was clearly full of people heading off to Strictly for the night; pairs of 30 something ladies, mums and daughters and wives with husbands that looked so excited about 5 hours of dancing - mind you if they are anything like my husband the sight of Ola in the flesh in her skimpy catsuit would keep them smiling for a couple of months!

Once dressed up we were ready to go. We arrived at Wembley Arena in style in a Ford Galaxy minicab and headed in looking for a bar and bite to eat. Mmm-mmmm, oh the choices! A wealth of culinary delights awaited us. Would I opt for the rubbery hot dog in a dry roll or the 'chicken' pieces with chips?? I played it safe and parted with £2.50 for a cone of 7 chips and £4.50 for a lukewarm plastic bottle of Bulmers (330ml!). Welcome to London!

At 5.45 we had to be in our seats and stay there until the live show was over - better join that queue for the Ladies first then. Our seats were facing the stage, quite a way back but still with a great view - and a huge screen above to catch all the close ups. First up was the the pre-record of the opening dance number for the Saturday night and Il Divo's fantastic performance. Tess Daly also did her little trailer bits. All very confusing for me, I didn't know if it was Saturday or Sunday! Finally it was time for the live show and it was fascinating to see how it is all put together - the super fast circle running cameraman was a-mazing, how he didn't go arse over tit I don't know.

Once the live show had finished broadcasting we had a 30 minute interval before shooting the Sunday results show and we now know how that all finished. Bye bye Russell - your cannon stunt was very funny! I'm now back home and it doesn't feel like I've had any break at all. So I'll leave you with some pictures hastily taken on my phone, as I left my camera in the hotel, and occasionally without a flash so I didn't get shouted at - so the quality is not great.

 James Morrison waiting for Jessie J

 The fantastic live orchestra and singers entertaining the crowd between shooting

Filming the Sunday night group dance

So until next time - keeeeeeeeep dancing! x x

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Silent Sunday

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19 November 2011

Saturday is Caption Day!!

Toot Toot - All aboard for Mammasaurus' meme Saturday is Caption Day!!! This week I'm letting my bonkers gorgeous girl E take centre stage so what the blazes is she saying / thinking here?!


Click the magic button to find out more!

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17 November 2011

A venting mother has given me this award!

Oh you've just got to love that venting old ma over at Motherventing as she's just chucked a blogging award my way. Mwah, love you and just for you MV: xxxxXXXXxxxx.

And here it is in all its glory....


As with any blogging award these days there's a catch - don't get summit for nothing round here anymore! If you are in receipt of this award you need to share Seven Secret Things About Yourself - oooooooooooooooooh how exciting!! Then pass it on to fifteen (!?!) other bloggers and keep the award running through blogworld - simples.

So nosey people here are my Seven Secret  No Longer Secret Things About Me:

1. I love the smell of wax crayons. They remind me of being in Mrs.Wilkinson's class in Infant school and she was lovely!

2. I bought a dress and heels today. I have not worn a dress and heels for about seven years. So for me that is an achievement. In case you didn't know I needed a dress and heels as I'm off to Strictly at Wembley on Saturday - oh yes! How many times can I say dress and heels?

3. My favourite light lunch is bagel with cream cheese, scrambled egg and grated cheddar with loads of avacado on the side - must be perfectly ripe though.

4. My favourite perfume is Alfred Sung - Forever which I buy from cheapperfumes.com (classy name hey?) as it cannot be bought off the shelf over here.

5. I am slightly scared about Christmas this year as it's just me, the hubby and the kiddies - no Grandparents to occupy the children, yikes!

6. I love Crunchies and I have to nibble the chocolate off first then eat the honeycomb last - yumness!

7. I have realised I am actually quite fond of Melksham and secretly wish that my husband takes redundancy so we don't have to move to the Midlands - I could also do with a crystal ball so I know that he finds another job here! It also means I can meet up with the South West Mums at some point - Hoorah!

Right then, I now have to tag 15 others:
@Mascaraandmud
@LoveInTheNest
@madamding
@MammasaurusBlog
@BooAndMe_
@PinkOddy
@ageingmatron
@Glasgow_Mummy
@moors-mummy
@handofajeanie
@thelovebump
@Spoonfulofvodka
@ActuallyMummy
@shell1207
@leila_jo_mummy

Phew!
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15 November 2011

Snap Slappers - Week 1

I'm still not sure who the slappers are but FiveGoBlogging has set up a rather artistic and technical meme. All you need to do is take a photo, here's mine:

Me and my beautiful girl.

Then, using whichever photo editing package thingy that you desire, go and get a cup of tea and a slice of cake and play with it! You can go as crazy as you like or maybe go a little bit arty farty with it, like I have done here:



Then go and link up and enjoy some other fantastic photographic *ahem* delights!!!! Here's the linky button thing - you can grab it from FiveGoBlogging's blog if you like!!!

Five Go Blogging Snap Slappers

And here's the blog hop thing too!

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14 November 2011

Run Fat Girl, Run!

Things need to change. I have just, rather stupidly giving my bad mood lately, stood on the scales in the bathroom. I intended to do this crazy act in order to motivate myself a bit more to sort it out. I am ashamed to say they read 11 and a half stone, I am ashamed to admit that this time last year they read 10 and a half stone. I am very angry with myself for letting that stone reappear and with it the re-emergence of the baby belly. Hah! My youngest is 3 and a half - I cannot be calling it a baby belly anymore. More like lazy belly.

This time last year I was doing Zumba twice a week, playing netball every Friday evening and running in between. I looked better, clothes fitted nicely and most importantly I felt bloody great. So what's gone wrong? Why do I suddenly stop doing all that when I know exactly what is going to happen? This is what happens:



I wasn't brave enough to photograph myself sans clothes and I didn't want to lose any readers either. But you get my point. Muffin top, love handles, cake shelf, overhang call it what you like it looks gross.

So I am on a mission. I am going to sort myself out and thought that if I stick myself on here for all to see then maybe, just maybe, I'll persevere at it. It may not be the best time of year to start running again but I quite like the anonymity of the dark when no one can see my bright red face or hear my huffing and puffing as I pound the pavements. So tonight I am having an early tea with the children and once that has gone down I'm getting out the old running trainers and gear, putting on the iPod - recently downloaded with Groove Armada to keep me going - and getting out of here and going for a run.

Hopefully once I am through that first barrier I will remember how good it feels to just be out in the fresh air running. I know it's going to be tough as my fitness levels have dropped but I need my fit, healthy and happy self back.

Watch this space for improvements and a fresher, happier Melksham Mum! x x
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Mix-Tape Monday #2

Oooh, this has come around quickly and this week Boo and Me wants to hear about our musical Guilty Pleasures. I guess what we may find 'guilty' ourselves will vary from person to person so I think this meme will throw up an interesting mix this week. I like to think I have pretty good taste in music but there are occasions where I like to listen to some music in private, so as not to be judged! My Guilty Pleasure has certain rules; it needs to be something that allows me to let my hair down, pretend to be in my twenties and semi-fit again, jump around like a loon, sing along about broken hearts and revenge and release the inner rock chick that sadly never had the opportunity to emerge!

So I give you....

Kelly Clarkson - Since You've Been Gone

Click here to join in and find some other Guilty Pleasures
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13 November 2011

12 November 2011

Saturday is Caption Day!!

Attention - you know the drill! Look at the photo below, get your witty, sarcastic, hilarious, funny caps on and come up with a caption for my boy!



Join in the fun here!
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© 76 sunflowers

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